Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Blogging toward Sunday

This week I have been enjoying our Advent Calender 2012 devotional. Although the readings are short, they seem to pack quite a punch. Today's title, for example, is "Party Time," with the following comment: "The Giver of Life invites you to a banquet in honor of his Son's birth. Please respond." (Immediately I had an image of an RSVP in response to party invitation.)

The suggested biblical text is Isaiah 25:6-9:
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation (NRSV).
Herein we see the promise of God's ultimate defeat over death. Walter Brueggemann says of this text, "The imagery here of death is not simply the fact of mortality. Rather, "death" is understood as a great devastating monster who stalks the earth and seeks to undo all of the structures of life. In the imagery [of verse 8], it is argued that God is an even stronger power who, with great force and brutality, will simply swallow death, chew it up, and spit it out in complete nullification. (The Life with God Bible, from the commentary on Isaiah, pg.1014)

It's no surprise that this Scripture passage is often used in the Church to celebrate the wondrous accomplishment of the resurrection of Jesus on Easter, an accomplishment that began at the Savior's birth.

During the Season of Advent, we are invited to be a part of the most wonderful story ever told. We are invited to sit with God, consider the wonder of it all, mark time together and seek out ways to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Although the world would entice us to turn our focus elsewhere, we will surely be better for choosing to turn toward the Light of the World on our journey toward Bethlehem.We will surely be better if we RSVP "Yes!" to the greatest invitation of all.

Sunday we will gather to listen to "Light and Life ," a Christmas Cantata performed by our Colonial Heights Presbyterian Choir. Hope to see you here!


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