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Tuesday, Dec 5 | He is with us

Editor's Note

About the author:
 Linda and her husband John are 20-year members of ZPC. They have 2 adult sons and a daughter in college. Linda serves on the ZPC Mission Commission as the communications liaison. 

About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals where we are exploring traditional Advent themes of waiting, mystery, redemption, and incarnation. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc advent to 39970. Advent booklets are also available at the ZPC Welcome Center. We welcome your comments and questions each day.

Waiting | Luke 6:20-23

We live in an Amazon Prime, Buy Now world. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has perfected how to extract money from us faster, more instantaneously than ever. Bezos has tapped into a core attribute of the American people: We are an impatient lot.

In the words of the late American singer Tom Petty, “The waiting is the hardest part.” In fact, we can sometimes be like Veruca Salt in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” who whined to her Daddy, “I want it now!”

What's the point of waiting? What are we waiting for? What does it even mean to be blessed?

How do we stop this madness? What can we do to bring peace into our homes and our lives?

Advent gives us time to pause and ponder what matters. To reflect on Jesus’ birth and wait expectantly and joyfully for what is to come.

Sometimes we just may not be feeling it – we’re financially or emotionally drained; or we’re running on empty and hungering for something more. We may feel dejected or depressed, despite all the glittery lights and festive nights.

Yet Jesus is in the midst of it all. He is with us – Emmanuel.

In Luke 6:20-26 (The Message), Jesus reminds his followers what it means to be blessed:

You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all.
God’s kingdom is there for the finding.
You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry.
Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal.
You’re blessed when the tears flow freely.
Joy comes with the morning.

Advent ushers in Hope. We don’t have to wait for it. Jesus is here. Now. 

Prayer

Dear gracious and loving Lord, thank you for taking us as we are. Help us to slow down, savor our time with friends and family. If we’re struggling during this time of Advent, open our eyes to the blessings before us. You came into this world to give us hope, and we are grateful. May we willingly share that hope with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Posted by Linda Jackson with

Monday, Dec 4 | Jesus is knocking


Editor's Note

About the author: 
Andrew and his wife Abby joined ZPC in 2015. They have two school aged children Sam and Leah. Andrew is a current ZPC Elder.

About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals where we are exploring traditional Advent themes of waiting, mystery, redemption, and incarnation. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc advent to 39970. Advent booklets are also available at the ZPC Welcome Center.

Waiting | Revelation 3:20

I recently completed the Monumental Marathon in downtown Indianapolis. As I lumbered through those 26.2 miles, I was so focused on the finish that I missed most of the race itself. I didn’t take in the sights along the way: the crowd cheering for complete strangers out of goodwill and generosity, the clever signs reminding me that I paid for this agony, the beautiful homes along Meridian Street, or the picturesque grounds of the IMA. I spent 18 weeks preparing for something I couldn’t wait to finish.

During Advent, I find we are so focused on the end at Christmas, that we miss the season itself. We race through the weeks leading up to Jesus’ arrival at Christmas and miss the fact that Jesus has been here all along. Revelation 3:20 reminds us that Jesus stands at the door knocking, inviting us into relationship with him: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Jesus is already here; he surrounds us, and he is present in those around us. As we wait with excitement for Christmas, we must remember that Jesus is here now if we open the door to him. He is present in our waiting. Jesus is knocking. Open the door.

ACTIVITY

Take time this Advent season to open the door and spend time with Jesus. Set aside 10 minutes each day to pause from the frenzy of the season and seek him. The ZPC Advent Devotional is a great opportunity to pause daily and reset your focus on what is most important. Each day will have a different post reflecting on Advent. 

PRAYER

Lord, give us eyes to see you and ears to hear you this Christmas season. Help us slow down to make time for you. We pray that the busyness of the season—the shopping, the parties, the preparation, and the waiting—wouldn’t distract us from you. Help us to more fully love you and love others this season, so that we don’t simply race past. Thank you for coming to us and for walking among us.

In Jesus’ name we pray,

Amen.

Posted by Andrew Perrin with

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