Advent is a time for looking ahead, a time to plan for the future, just like Malachi plans for the coming of the Lord (v. 1). Looking ahead, planning, preparing, and working for the better day that by God's goodness and grace lies ahead is one of the best, healthiest things we human beings can do. Martin Luther says that this kind of preparing for the future is a clearing out of the way whatever will be an obstruction. In short, we need to get ourselves out of the way, because more often than not we are the chief obstacles to the new thing God plans for the future (Luther's Works, Vol.
Thomas Willadsen Mary Austin Christopher Keating Dean Feldmeyer Ron Love George Reed Bethany Peerbolte
For January 20, 2018:
God Activates by Tom Willadsen — Perhaps God wants us to delight in each other and in the magnitude and depth of divine love. Perhaps the Lord wants to activate our gifts of the Spirit, to use them for the common good.
We are all intimately connected as one body in Jesus. Isaiah celebrates our intimate union with our creator, describing us as the joyful bride of God. Though there had been alienation and rejection from both sides in the past, the prophet describes us as God’s delight. That connection is also emphasized in Paul’s oddly graphic description of church folks as body parts — we need each other because we are not a living, breathing body if we are somehow separated.
When Jesus visited a wedding at Cana in Galilee, he showed that human disappointments matter to him and that he would be prepared to redeem them. This is a story about a young girl's bitter disappointment when she became a bridesmaid.