4th Sunday in Advent LOVE (Angel’s Candle)

4th Sunday LOVE

1 Your love, O Lord, forever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness. 2 For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens. 3 “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant: 4 ‘I will establish your line for ever, and preserve your throne for all generations.'” Psalm 89:1-4

The final Candle before Christ’s arrival to us is Love. The Angel’s Candle where out of the Love, Joy Peace and Hope, they sang praises to the world that the Lord is nigh. The Shepherds heard the glorious sound of the Angelic Choir singing of peace and good will to all people. Why is it that this candle is the Candle of Love when it really should be Peace? We Hoped for Peace with Joy in our hearts to prepare us for God’s eternal Love for us by sending His Son into the world. This Love is found in the whole process. Mary was given the gift because of her pureness and devotion. Joseph could have ended the betrothal and had her killed but because of his love for her and his devotion to God (plus a nudge from Gabriel giving him peace and joy) he accepted her and the child.

When they reached Bethlehem and could find nowhere to rest, a woman out of compassion convinced her husband to let them sleep in the stable. It was clean enough for human occupation because of the time of year. It was cool outside and the animals were resting in the stable and keeping it warm with their body heat. The wife show us how we are to help those who are weary, homeless, and in need.

In humility, the king of the world was born and the first to see was the animals. All creation knows their master. God’s love and compassion is not just reserved for us.

Snow Monkeys

Then came the Shepherds. They were watching their flocks and the Angel of the Lord came to them and proclaimed the birth of Emmanuel, Prince of Peace. This was a proclaimation that apparently was only meant for the humble in the area for no nobleman nor king heard this. The Angel showed the shepherds love which would be special and designed for all walks of life and make the meek and humble into regal members of the Kingdom Of God.

The Magi would come later. At first they came out of curiosity and a desire to present the new king with gifts. What they found was a euphoric sense of peace, hope, joy, and love for all mankind.        

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.       John 13:34

Jesus came to show the truth of God’s Love and compassion for His creation. When He arrived, He came as an innocent humble child without the regality and exuberance of the earthly kings but the silence and peacefulness which occurred at the completion of creation. He came to correct the work His Father gave to Adam who failed, then to the Israelites who were blinded by Adam’s sin. He came as a silent but worthy conqueror that will rule over us.

For God So Loved The World That HE gave HIS Only Begotten SON, So That Whosoever Believes In HIM Shall Not Perish But Have Everlasting Life. John 3:16

Tomorrow is Christmas. Share the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love all year ‘round. Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy time with family, friends old and new, and neighbors. God’s Love and Blessings to all.

Advent Week 3 Rejoice For the Lord is Near

When the Lord  restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them. “The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:1-6 ESV

This week we experience the joy of knowing the Messiah will be here soon. We rejoice in the fact that we will be restored to the Kingdom of the Father and truly have that personal relationship that He desires to have with us. We celebrate the coming communion with the Father focusing of the joy His mere presence brings. When Paul speaks of the fruit of the Spirit, he shares the qualities that God desires in each of us to share with the world. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, self control. Nothing in the Torah stands against such things. Galatians 5:22-23 CJB

The Pentateuch teaches us about God’s joy and how we are to emulate it here on earth.

Isaiah spoke of the hope and desire for all mankind that God would be present in our lives again so we may feel the joy that comes with Him. He also pleads for restoration of the Spirit and the land which God calls holy but we have destroyed with our sins.  

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved? But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Be not so terribly angry, O Lord, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people. Your holy cities have become a wilderness; Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised you, has been burned by fire, and all our pleasant places have become ruins.  Isaiah 64:1-5,8-11 ESV

So God sends John the Baptist to fulfill the prophesy of preparation and sets the stage for us to rejoice in His arrival. He is Jesus, Word made flesh, Messiah, Savior, our Salvation from sin.

 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said. “They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? “John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. “These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.         John 1:23,25-28 ESV

We are not worthy of saving but God loves us so much and desires the relationship He once had with Adam and Eve. Rejoice that God cares for us so much that He sent His Son to pay the ultimate price and opened the veil so we can connect with God. 

He will come again and will bring the Kingdom with Him. Let us rejoice that God’s Word is the Truth and the Light.

2nd Sunday in Advent: Prepare For The Prince Of Peace

Advent Peace

THE BETHLEHEM CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF PREPARATION

John 14:27

What I am leaving with you is shalom — I am giving you my shalom. I don’t give the way the world gives. Don’t let yourselves be upset or frightened. (CJB)

This week we prepare the way to Bethlehem. It was a time of peace but there was not a peaceful attitude between the Jews and the Romans who occupied the Holy Land. The Emperor demanded a census be taken of his whole empire. Now we al know what happens when a census is demanded, Just ask King David when he did that against God’s will. This one however, would be used to fulfill prophesy and God’s Will.

Micah 5:2

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
(ESV)

Our Ancestors prepared for the birth with anticipation but yet misunderstood what the purpose of the Messiah would truly be. They were looking for an earthly king who would save them from Roman occupation even though God gave Isaiah to prophesy of the Suffering Servant who saves souls. He also gave the prophesy of preparation that would begin with John the Baptist.  

Isaiah 40:3-5

A voice cries out: “Clear a road through the desert for Adonai! Level a highway in the ‘Aravah (willow branch/wilderness) for our God! Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill lowered, the bumpy places made level and the crags become a plain. Then the glory of Adonai will be revealed; all humankind together will see it, for the mouth of Adonai has spoken.” (CJB)

They saw but did not understand still. So John would continue crying in the desert wilderness of the Jordan and gave them fulfilled Isaiah again which says:

Isaiah 40:9-11

You who bring good news to Tziyon, get yourself up on a high mountain; you who bring good news to Yerushalayim, cry out at the top of your voice!
Don’t be afraid to shout out loud! Say to the cities of Y’hudah, “Here is your God!
10 Here comes Adonai Elohim with power, and his arm will rule for him.
Look! His reward is with him, and his recompense is before him.
11 He is like a shepherd feeding his flock, gathering his lambs with his arm, carrying them against his chest, gently leading the mother sheep.”
(CJB)

John was constantly preparing the way for Jesus knowing that his flesh and blood cousin was more than that, He is the Son of God.

Jesus came to John so that His mission could begin. The Suffering Servant has arrived. Jesus was anointed with the water but then the miracle of God came with a thunderous voice and a gentle dove. “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”. With that, the flesh became anointed and His ministry began.

Jesus prepared and became the way for our salvation. He fulfills the prophesy of Isaiah and the Will of God. His Mission, spread the Word of God, save mankind from eternal damnation, prepare a place for us in heaven, return and rule God’s Kingdom in the new creation.

So this Advent Sunday let us reflect on the peace that surpasses human understanding. This peace which is inherently within us but clouded by sin will be released once again when Jesus returns. There is an indescribable peace that comes over us when we accept Jesus as Savior but that is only a taste of what the peace of God will provide in us. We pray, “Come Lord Jesus” almost daily but He is already here. He is within each of us through the power of the Holy Spirit and is preparing our hearts for the Glorious Appearing where He will reveal His Kingdom to us.

Prepare for the Prince of Peace, born of God in a lowly manger, murdered by man, raised by God, who dwells within us, and rules us eternal. 

WHERE DO YOU PLACE YOUR HOPE

Advent Wreath PPT

Isaiah 9:1 The people living in darkness have seen a great light; upon those living in the land that lies in the shadow of death, light has dawned.  ESV

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 CJV

The hope of finding and relishing in the light which is only found through belief, hope, and trust in the Savior, Messiah, Emmanuel. This is the Sunday where we light candle of Prophetic Promise. The candle of Hope for Salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. How did God provide the right direction to this Hope?

After creation, God had a close relationship with Adam and Eve. They disobeyed one simple instruction from God and the relationship was cut and separation occurred. Because of this, Adam and Eve were thrown from the protection of Eden, the place of full communion with God. They hoped to reconnect their relationship with God.

The Hebrew Nation is God’s Chosen who were tasked with spreading the Knowledge of God to the world. This did not work out so well as they often left God for other gods and belief systems and only returned when life got rough. Sound familiar? Some people were chosen specifically by God to share or wake the nation up but it wasn’t until Isaiah that God finally let His ultimate plan come to light. Through Isaiah, God spoke of Jesus, the Suffering Servant. He would do what Israel could not. This brought hope to Israel as they awaited the Messiah whom they envisioned would be a fully righteous earthly king who would rule them forever. They hoped for a king.

Every book in the Old Testament has pointed to the one who would be the Savior from our sins. The one who would set things right in this world and correct Adam and Eve’s mistake. This is the hope of being saved from eternal damnation.   

This same Savior spoken of would be the instrument of change destroying the old creation and building the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth. This time it will be done right. God did this already and kept one faithful family and it would have worked except that sin still existed because the we’re still fully human. We have hope for a sinless world full of peace, joy, and ahava (God’s ultimate most powerful complete) love, in which we will live forever.   

The hope of all this coming to be lays with a promise from God. He sent us His Son who became flesh and do the mission God had for His people Israel, to make the ultimate sacrifice and defeat death once and for all, and to lay the groundwork for the Kingdom of God that will be eternal. His Son came not with the pomp and circumstance as an earthly prince but as a child of a humble carpenter and his young wife. He was born amongst God’s Creation and laid in a wooden trough filled with hay to keep Him warm.

Yeshua answered, “I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in me will never be thirsty. Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will certainly not turn away. For I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of the One who sent me. And this is the will of the One who sent me: that I should not lose any of all those he has given me but should raise them up on the Last Day. Yes, this is the will of my Father: that all who see the Son and trust in him should have eternal life, and that I should raise them up on the Last Day.” John 6:34-35,37-40 CJB

We, as humans have a tendency to put our faith and trust in the world for material things. The truth is, if we put our hope, faith, and trust in God, the material things we need for living here take second place and our life in the Spirit will guide, protect, feed, and cloth us.

Have hope that Jesus keeps His promise and returns again to take us home.