Advent is a time of preparation, of waiting in the darkness, of welcoming Christ into our lives, not just as a babe in Bethlehem but as the judge of all at the end of this world. Isaiah gives us a glimpse into what that day will look like with this striking image: "He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Not only are we to wait expectantly for that day, as people of God we are to usher in God's reign of peace in our homes, our communities and our world. Let us set our hearts on God's vision of a world with no weapons of war and no wars to fight. And let us join Isaiah's prophetic refrain during these days of anticipation: " O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!"
(The attached image depicts that day when swords will be beaten into plowshares!)
Tonight is the first of our four midweek Advent meals and worship. We'll gather at 5:30 pm at Zion for a simple meal, followed by Holden Evening Prayer. Thank you to those who are providing this evening's meal. In the darkness of the evening, we sing that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, as we welcome him into the shadows of our lives and our world.
We have two more Sundays to donate children's backpacks and/or money to Nii Anang of Zion, who will be traveling to his home town in Ghana in December. Anang supports many people in his community, especially a number of school children. Cash donations will enable him to ship the backpacks prior to his trip and to purchase other items his family and friends may need. Thank you to all who have already contributed!
Please keep in your prayers: Pat Burton, who is hospitalized and Tiffany and Doug Carter and their daughter, Skye, whose home burned in Willis this past Sunday. St. Mark gave the family prayer shawls and is keeping in touch to find out about the family's needs.
"Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light." (Romans 13:11-12)