November 2008


 From Rev. Andrea Brownlee, Cameron Big Run C. C. & Fork Ridge C. C.

 Read Isaiah 40:1-8

A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God…’

             It seems we are always preparing, always getting ready, never completely ready for what awaits us in the future. As Christians we seem to be in a continuous cycle of preparation, action, and reflection, all the while hearing the Prophet Isaiah uttering the words “Clear the way for the LORD”.

As we begin this first week of Advent we do so in anticipation of the coming of our Lord. Once these weeks of preparation are over, my hope is we can still hear the prophet saying “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” A voice is calling; take time to hear it this Advent season.

O Lord, prepare in me a highway for your coming.  Straighten out my crooked places, and give me a vision of your promises fulfilled in your Son Jesus Christ.

Do not reply to this mailing; if you have questions email dchafin@wvdisciples.org.

From  Rev. Richard Howard, Morgantown First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

  Read Mark 13:24-37

            Our passage today reminds us of the original reason for the observance of the season of Advent: preparing for the second coming of Christ.  When we pray “thy kingdom come” in the Lord’s Prayer, we need to understand for what we are praying.  According to the Book of the prophet Amos (5:18-20), the “Day of the Lord” will be “darkness, not light, and gloom with no brightness in it…” 

Mark 13 has been traditionally known as the “Little Apocalypse” of the New Testament, with the Book of Revelation being the “big” apocalypse.  It is known by this name for good reason!  It cautions us to be watchful and to prepare carefully and thoughtfully for the Second Coming.  Doing what we are called to do by Matthew 25 would be a good start!

After reading and reflecting on Mark 13:24-37, can we still treat the season of Advent as merely a “prequel” to Christmas?  The Good News in all this “doom and gloom” is that the Very Light of God brings eternal light into the darkness that life can often be.  The promise of eternal life in God will be kept because of Emmanuel: “God With Us.”

Our hope is in you, Eternal One, in a world dying for the salvation that only you can give.  Awaken us to how your will may be done by us on earth, as in heaven.

  These daily readings are offered by the Order of Ministry of the Christian Church in West Virginia for your Advent journey.  They may also be accessed online or subscribed for email delivery at: prayerscapes.wordpress.com

We’re in the week in between – between the old year of Matthew’s gospel and the new year of Mark, between the ending feast of the Sovereign with its “When did we see you, Lord…” and the beginning of the fast of preparation (though most of us do not fast, we look for many tools with which to sharpen our awareness of the coming One).  We’re between judgement and the promise of God’s justice, between the “joy of the Lord” and the “outer darkness” with gnashing of teeth.

Sometimes our lives seem to be stuck in between, and in such times it’s good to remind ourselves that wherever we are suspended, God is with us.  We are never lost, never forsaken.  Thanks be to God!

We hope you’ll join us for daily Advent devotions beginning Sunday, Nov. 30.  Click on the Mountain Prayerscapes site and subscribe for email, or subscribe to the feed using your favorite reader.  Email subscribers must reply to verification notice from Feedburner (check your spam filter or junk mail file), in order to receive the posts.

The liturgical calendar comes to a close this day, known through the years as the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday after Pentecost.  I hope many of you will be with us beginning next Sunday, Nov. 30, as we begin our journey toward the Nativity through the devotional writings of our Order of Ministry.  Subscribe to the email version or catch the RSS feed at our Mountain Prayerscape site.  Email subscribers need to watch for a verification notice and respond to it in order to complete their subscriptions.  Then watch for the daily devotions in your morning email!

Blessings,

David Chafin – Webmaster

Greetings!

This posting is from Mountain Prayerscape, the online Advent devotional place for WV Disciples.  Please visit the site and subscribe now, as daily devotions begin Nov. 30 and continue through early January.  The subscription spot is at the top right side of the page.

We hope you’ll welcome these gifts from our Region’s ministers into your hearts and homes this Advent season.