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Devotions for Advent 2019

About Our Devotions

Advent is the church season that prepares us to remember the Christ child of Christmas Day, and the Redeemer Christ who has paid the price for our sins and who will return to bring us home. These devotions are written by members of the Newberry College community, and may be heard on WKDK-AM 1240 at 9:06 a.m. each Sunday through Friday through Dec. 25.

Day 14


“‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’ Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing – grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God… And afterword, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.”

Joel 12-14, 28-30 (NIV)


It’s that time of year again – getting ready for Christmas. Start (continue) buying gifts for everyone on my list. Clean up the Christmas card list (deleting names of those who didn’t send a card last year). Pick out, and decorate, the tree (making sure ALL the lights work). Figure out what I want to say in my annual letter to let everyone know how the past year has treated me. And, most important, start baking my checkerboard cookies. If I start at the beginning of November, I should be able to be ready. It seems that at some point each year I ask why I put myself through this. Each year I keep doing it.

 

But what about getting ready for Christ? After all, isn’t the birth of Christ the reason we celebrate?

 

The rending, or tearing, of garments is an outward sign of deep emotion, grief, contrition. But God does not want outward signs. He wants a true heart, a contrite heart, a loving heart. God has blessed us with many gifts. He has more to give. God wants us to know his unconditional love, a love freely given, no strings attached. God’s love does not dependent on some bargain we propose in hopes that He will listen. He wants our heart, not public displays. As we prepare for the outward signs of Christmas, are we also preparing our heart?

 

Father God, help me have an open heart. Open to the love you have for me. Open to the love of family and friends. Open to the love of neighbors and strangers. You want my heart and the love only it can give. Help to remember that love cannot be bought or sold. It can only be given away freely. Amen.

 

Dr. Dennis Lambries serves as adjunct professor of political science.
 

Day 13


“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV)

 

Isaiah 55 is a longer passage and I’ve selected just one verse for the focus of the devotion today. Verse 11 refers to the word of God going out from God’s mouth, accomplishing a goal and achieving a purpose. Does this mean the written word, like this Scripture itself, or the spoken word? John 1:1 tells us “the word was God” and in 1:14 calls Jesus “the word made flesh.” I think the verse encompasses all of these. Jesus certainly fit the description of accomplishing a goal and achieving God’s purpose. So do the written and spoken celebration of the miracles, power, and love of God.

 

Being the selfish sinner that I am, this makes me wonder about myself, whether my word “accomplishes what I desire and achieves the purpose for which I sent it.” Do my words make a difference? Am I speaking the truth, fostering hope, offering compassion, or supporting a righteous cause? There’s no doubt in my mind - our words matter. An insult from someone you love can cut deep, and in contrast, a compliment can save a bad day. What you say reflects your character and integrity. Your word might not be the savior of the world or Holy Scripture, but it can change your mood and affect those around you.

 

Christmas Day may bring crazy super awesome joy but the lead up can be extremely stressful. Gift-giving chaos and travel debacles. Finals and papers and projects, oh my! Work deadlines and financial difficulties and family pressure. All the makings for frustration, sadness, and struggle. Most of us are dealing with one or more of these concerns. Now is our chance to practice conscious conversation. To be deliberate. To choose our words wisely. To reconsider a rude comment, a passive aggressive response, or sharing hurtful gossip. To think about what purpose our words serve. To opt for integrity. It takes strength of heart and mind and I think we’re up to the task. Let’s let our words serve a higher purpose.

 

Dear God, thank you for sending us your word, the ultimate example of integrity. Help us as we strive to speak the good word and live with unreproached character. Lead us to compassion over insult, and positivity over anger, today and every day. Amen.

 

Libby Sherman is a friend of Newberry College.
 

Day 12

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out or raise his voices in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope. This is what GOD the Lord says-the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: ‘I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being, I announce them to you.’” 

Isaiah 42: 1-9 (NIV)


To have choices is a very special thing. Everyone loves having options to choose from. I’m the type of person who loves to have multiple things to choose from. We don’t always make the correct choice or the wise choice. However, we are indeed blessed to be able to choose and boy, do we have a lot of choices. We can choose what we want to wear or what we want to eat. We can choose where we want to live and even choose where we want to go to college.


GOD is the exact same way. He chooses who wants to use in order to do his will. He chose his only begotten son to be born to live an earthly life and redeem all mankind. He chose Jesus Christ. And GOD didn’t stop there. He chose us. He chose to bless us. He chose to redeem us. He chose to give us abundant life. And trust me. GOD believes we are worth it.


Heavenly Father, Thank you for being the wise GOD that you are. Thank you for this season of Advent. Thank you for choosing Jesus Christ to redeem us. Thank you for choosing us. May we work to prove you right in your choosing of us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Dr. John Lesaine ‘07 serves as assistant dean for academic affairs and associate professor of sport professions.

Day 11

"After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, 'Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?' Jesus replied, 'Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.' "

Matthew 11:1-6 (NIV)

 

John The Baptist’s current status: prison!  He has little reason to feel hopeful about his future and the future of Christians. So, he asked some of his friends to ask Jesus himself if He was the real deal.  His answer in today’s terms might have been “hold my beer” while he performed healings in front of them.  You know the term: don’t believe it until you see it? Exactly.

 

The messengers brought back good news and hope to John.  Hope is so powerful there are many books, articles, podcasts, sermons and memes about hope.  Evidence that gives you hope can change a life and even save a life.   While I have not been in prison, I have lost hope a few times in my life. You know when you just want to see good things happen to good people? I’ve been told to pray for patience, but patience requires faith that God will give you evidence of hope.  The healings that Jesus performed was the ultimate display of the saying “I have the receipts.”

 

There was good news of the things to come for John and there is good news to come for you during this Advent season.  You can always choose to exaggerate the good news for yourself and others and spread it like the Gospel intended.

 

Prayer: In your name I pray for the courage to bring evidence of hope to the people in our lives and in the world. We remain grateful for the celebration of the good news that Advent brings to us while our faith comforts us during this time of waiting and preparation.

 

Lori Ann Summers serves as vice president for institutional advancement.

Day 10

"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

Isaiah 40:1-5 King James Version (KJV)

 

Good morning, Newberry College and Newberry!  Today is already the 10th of December, wow!

Today, at the college, the students are rejoicing that all of their fall semester final exams are over, the professors are sighing over grading all of those final exams and papers, and the staff is busily preparing for Winter Graduation Exercises scheduled for this Saturday, the 14th of December. Today in Newberry, stores are opening, hoping for another successful shopping day, people are having parties and hurrying to get cards mailed and presents purchased. 

 

But today for me, Handel’s Messiah will be playing in my head all day. It is a wonderful Tenor solo- look it up and listen to it on YouTube. And in the hustle and bustle of your day, please pay attention to just a couple of phrases. 

 

Let’s start with “Comfort ye.”  This is the imperative, the command to comfort and be in turn comforted. Who will you comfort today? And will you allow yourself to relax and be comforted by others?

 

The next phrase is, “iniquity is pardoned.”  Who has ever used the word, “iniquity” recently?  Iniquity is defined as,  ‘immortal or grossly unfair behavior.’  In church language, we would call it, ‘sin.’ But Isaiah is reminding us that God says our sins are forgiven. 

 

And why are our sins forgiven? Jesus. Jesus is the reason for the season and Jesus is the, “glory of the Lord, revealed.”

 

So today, with a happy song in your heart and mind and ear, try to remember that Jesus came and died for you, yes,  you personally! There is nothing going on today that you and God can’t handle. And there is nothing in this world that can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Rejoice!

 

Please pray with me. 

Dear God,

Thank you for sending your son, Jesus as a sacrifice for my sins. Please help me remember today to also be a light in the darkness to others and to rejoice in the gifts you have already given me. Amen. 

 

Annie Worman is married to Newberry Campus Pastor Ernie Worman.

Day 9

“Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear!  Here is your God. …He will come and save you.”  

(Isaiah 35:4)

 

Candidates these days talk a lot about climate change, health care, and refugee resettlement.   As we read in our text for today—Isaiah 35:1-10—the prophet beat them to it by about 2700 years!  Way back then, as he discerned the Lord breaking into his age of political unrest and social upheaval, the prophet was told to declare that God would usher in a brand new day marked by bloom, balm, and blessing. 

 

First he spoke of the earth itself rejoicing: “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,” he proclaims, “the desert shall rejoice and blossom.”  It is God’s will that the planet itself experience transformation—a climate change of divine design.  Beauty.  Bloom.  Blossom.  Bounty.  So, unless we wish to swim upstream against the currents of divine will, we need to care about our planet. 

 

Second, Isaiah promised a radical new form of health care.  “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and ears of the deaf unstopped; the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.”  God’s brand of healing is not constrained by health care costs and big pharma.  No, the balm of divine healing stems from the medicine of mercy, a dose of compassion, and a prescription of love.  Our health care industry could stand to take notes. 

 

Finally, Isaiah makes clear that when the Lord shows up, God brings the refugees with him.  Speaking of the uprooted exiles scattered around the empire, he proclaimed, “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion…,” which for us is best understood as the place where God Godself dwells and where “all whose hearts are restless till they rest in God” are welcome.   God’s kingdom is not distinguished by a dividing wall but a divine will—the will that in God’s good time comes to be done on earth as in heaven.  And that is the greatest blessing of all.

 

Bloom, balm, and blessing!  This is the proclamation of the prophet. This is the hope of Advent.  This is the will of God. 

 

Is it yours?

 

Let us pray:  Stir up your Spirit, O Lord, and come.  Nurture and safeguard our home planet—the only home we have—that even the deserts may flower and bear fruit.  Bring to bear your healing power on all who suffer disease, debilitation, and despair.  And bless those who wander lost and restless with a happy homecoming in a place of your gracious welcome.  Amen.

 

The Rev. Dr. Wayne Kannaday ‘75 serves his alma mater as professor of religion.

Day 8

“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted.”

Isaiah 12:3-4 (ESV)

 

Bad stuff is ahead. Exile, violence, suffering, and pain are on the horizon according to the prophet Isaiah to his people at the time. Isaiah is not a prophet that shies away from reality, and the truth at the time was that larger, more powerful nations and militaries were closing in around them, and such powers were about to storm and take the land for their own king’s economic advantage and power. The people of Isaiah’s time weren’t a world power (but many of them wanted to be, further angering God). Instead they were the focus of the world’s powers, and not a good focus.


The prophet spends a lot of time in these early chapters being very honest about what’s to come. And it wasn’t good.


Then comes a promise: Even though the people were destined to be exiled to distant lands, God was already busy leveling a new path from those distant lands back towards their home. “And you will say in that day” is the day when Israel’s remnant will return on this new path, this highway.


You see, the prophets do not declare that God steers people away from what they fear most. On the contrary, they declare that what people fear most will be endured, and from that endurance comes a brand-new path reminiscent of their ancestor’s stories.


And when the people will have come through the hardship, a new, wide path will have been cleared for them. And on this path are wells of salvation and trees that sing and clap their hands. And those world powers and threats and all that was once feared will be silenced, because fear will no longer be the teacher.


In the Advent season we pray for that day for all of creation. And we pray for all the days before it. And we live all the days set before us, striving to live toward that day now.


Let us pray. Your name is exalted, O Holy God, for you are the way-maker. Give us good courage that you are leading us every day towards that new day for the whole world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


The Rev. Michael Price ‘02 serves as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Prosperity, South Carolina.

Day 7

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Romans 15:4-13 (NIV)

 

We talk a lot about hope and trust. We even put wall hangings of the words in homes and offices, wear necklaces proclaiming the 4 letter words, and color in meditative coloring books, filling in the letters with hearts and flowers. We hold these words dear, but do we know how powerful they really are? How can we begin to understand the power that’s in what this passage from Romans is saying and apply it in our daily lives?

 

My daughter reminded me with these words this morning, “Sometimes we find ourselves in situations in which we feel powerless. This is when it’s most important to trust in God and the plan that He has for us. In this life there are lots of things that bring us joy, but God brings us true peace. If we look for joy and peace in other things, we will find that they don’t bring us the same hope God does. God is the most powerful force and will triumph over the evils in the world.” I was very grateful for this reminder she gave me, and how perfect that it fit with the advent devotion for today!

 

Romans 15 says that as we trust, hope grows. Trust in God so that we may overflow with hope. In this season, may you find hope and trust renewed every day. As we work with the students of Newberry College, may we share this hope with them. May our hope be the spark that ignites the fire of good ideas, creativity, clarity of action and a greater joy as we all become more trusting that God’s got it all worked out if we just allow it to flow.

 

As we raise the bow and draw another arrow of hope from the quiver, trust in Him.

 


Julie McCrary is director of institutional research and effectiveness at Newberry College.

Day 6

"For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom."
Isaiah 9:2-7

 

Today’s full reading from Isaiah tells a remarkable story. Like so many biblical passages, the images are vivid. We read of a group of people who have been through a time of darkness: who have been hungry and who have been oppressed by enemy warriors. But light has come! The enemy has been defeated, and joy abounds. What is the source of this joy? The birth of a baby, a baby who promises to bring perpetual peace to the land.

 

What leads us to be so moved by this story? For people who are not Christians, this story may sound like a fanciful tale, even if they have experienced the hope and joy that the birth of a child brings. Yes, a child is the ultimate sign of new life, fresh beginnings, and hope for a brighter future. But is it really enough to pull an entire people out of a long era of darkness?

 

It just might be. Where does your hope lie? When you find yourself in times of darkness or uncertainty, what turns your face toward the light of hope?

 

The Christian story dares to declare that the Holy shows up in perhaps the least expected place—in our very midst, taking on human flesh. Once we recognize that God has promised to dwell among us, during times of both strife and peace, we understand that God’s light is always available to us. Advent is the reminder that, regardless of our circumstances, God is always lovingly, tenderly present. Hope is ours for the taking. 

 

Prayer: Holy One, may this season of Advent remind us that you are with us in times of both joy and suffering. Give us eyes to see your light and hearts to know the hope you offer.  Amen.

 

Dr. Krista E. Hughes serves as director of the Newberry College Muller Center and associate professor of religion.

Day 5

"Therefore, the Lord will give you a sign. The young woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel."

Isaiah 7:14 (CEB)

 

Grace and peace to each of you this blessed day full of thanks. For those of you who know me (even if you don’t know me well), you know that I love to have fun. Specifically, with games, toys, and activities. Whether it is playing with my daughters or having fun with the children and youth in my congregation, I love to have fun being with people.

 

In my office I have several toys that I’ve collected and procured one way or another throughout the years. But, unlike other collections, this one is meant to be used and not just looked at. Seeing young and young-at-heart eyes light up when they all those figures brings me joy.

 

The thing that brings me the most joy is when a person asks if they can play with those toys and then invites me into that place of imagination and joy alongside them. In that invitation I get to see them at their brightest. I get to see them at times at their most vulnerable. I get to see them. I get to be with them. I get to be in a stronger relationship with them.

 

In our brief text this day, we hear the words of the Prophet Isaiah as he speaks God’s word to Ahaz. Here God proclaims through the great prophet about a child who is to be born. But, this isn’t just any ol’ kid – this one is special. His name will be Immanuel. He will be called, “God with us.”

 

Isaiah is foretelling of the time that God will come down to be with us. For we believe, follow, struggle with, and are guided by a God whose love for us is so deep and wide, that this God is right there with us. God is not off somewhere else tending to other matters. God has promised, has fulfilled that promise, and continues in that hope today.

 

God is with us. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, no matter what you think, God’s love for you (and for all of creation) is so strong that God has come to be with you and with the world. God has come to show you not only how much you are loved, but how much you can show love to the world through God’s son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 

God sees us at our brightest. God sees us when we’re most vulnerable. God sees us. Why? Because God is with us and because God is with us – always – we get to dive deeper into that beloved relationship.

 

Let us pray…

God who is close, God who is with us – you have promised and have come down to be with those whom you have created and with whom you love so dear. You are never far off from us. Continue to show us your love, guide us in your truth, and push us to live into your love for all in the world – amen!

 

The Rev. Matthew Titus ‘05, pastor at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Newberry.

Day 4

Living Through the Lens of Christ

 

"His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear." 

NRSV Isaiah 11:3

 

Christians read these verses as announcing the Messiah and describing His characteristics, the qualities that He will possess, that will result in Him making judgments based on His righteousness and not on what human senses (which are often fallible) perceive. Remember, Jesus is fully human and fully divine, meaning that He can resist the judgmental pitfalls that humans are subject to.

 

But what about us and how we make our decisions? Consider for a moment the difference it can make in our lives and in the world if we allow the Holy Spirit (that we too receive as a result of Jesus’ promise to send Her to guide us and remind us of all that Jesus teaches) to help us delight in the Lord, and to not judge by what we see or hear (especially on social media), but as Christ would. What happens if we see and hear and think through the lens of Christ? I believe it would change how we view everyone (as all brothers and sisters in Christ – whether they are like us or not, whether they agree with us or not, whether they are friend, stranger or foe) and how we decide what matters most: our stuff or people.

 

At this time of the year, almost everyone thinks about the poor and hungry and homeless, but living through the lens of Christ would give us CHRISTmas hearts all the time throughout the year. Perhaps as an Advent renewal experience, we can decide to make our New Year’s Promise to God to live through the lens of Christ, allowing that same Spirit to guide our thoughts, words, and actions towards all people and the rest of God’s creation.

 

Gracious, generous, forgiving God, open our hearts, minds, and wills to the guidance of your Holy Spirit so that we can strive to live as selflessly as Christ and serve one another as Christ serves us. In Jesus’ name we ask this. Amen.

 

The Rev. Joanie Holden ‘11 serves as pastor of St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Crystal River, Florida.

Day 3

"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; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." 

Romans 13:11-14 (NRSV)

 

So, what kind of people do you suppose the Christians in Rome were? It sounds like they were sleeping in and sleeping around. It sounds like they were into a lot of excess and a lot of drama. The 1978 film Animal House seems tame in comparison. St. Paul’s admonition suggests that they were not on their best behavior and needed to straighten up.

 

My senior year at Newberry College, I lived on the ground floor of Brokaw Hall. One spring morning, I woke to the sound of someone outside, knocking on my window. It was my mother. She had driven from Virginia for the Awards Day Convocation. When my name was called, I wasn’t there. I had slept in. I don’t recall exactly why I had slept in, whether, perhaps, the night before I had been “reveling” or engaging in some other behavior Paul admonished the Romans about. No need to go there.

 

Sleeping in, I had missed an opportunity to receive an award for doing something well and I had missed the opportunity for my mother to proudly celebrate that with me. She and I went out for lunch that day and we had a nice visit, but I knew that she was disappointed at having driven over 500 miles in order to find me sleeping in.

 

One of the themes of Advent is “Jesus is coming soon! Straighten up!” What if you expected Jesus to show up tomorrow morning? What would you want to straighten up between now and then? Jesus isn’t coming to give you a load of grief, but to celebrate with you the joy of salvation. St. Paul tells us that now is the time to get ready, “for salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers.”

 

We pray: Come, Lord Jesus. Save us from our sins and lead us into the light. Amen.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ben Moravitz is a retired ELCA pastor and a 1976 graduate of Newberry College.

Day 2

“In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, . . . ‘I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’” 

Matthew 3:1, 11 (NRSV)

 

One of my favorite Advent hymns is “Soon and Very Soon” (With One Voice, 744). In its simplicity, it describes the nature of hope in the season of Advent: “Soon and very soon, we are goin’ to see the King.” For those who follow the liturgical calendar, Advent is a time of waiting, a time of anticipation. The four weeks leading to Christmas are filled with stories that proclaim the coming of Jesus, the Savior. These are generally not fun stories – some of them speak of war and destruction, of dismantled families and sinful deeds.

 

John the Baptist, or more accurately, the Baptizer, made the most recognizable of these proclamations. It was John’s role to announce the coming of Christ.  Though he didn’t say it exactly this way, he says, “soon and very soon, we are goin’ to see the King.” For John, the coming of Jesus was imminent.  And though John’s message sounded harsh (“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come!”), and he seems very much like a wild man screaming at the good folks of Judea, his message is one of hope.

 

The good news about Jesus is that Jesus can do what no one else can do: save us from sin. As we make our way through a world of war, conflicting viewpoints, separated families, and other calamaties, it is Christ who gives us hope. It is the promise of the resurrection that leads us through the darkness and into the light.

 

Soon and very soon . . .

 

Let us pray: Stir up in us your Holy Spirit, Lord. Help us to wait with confidence for the coming of your Son who will baptize us, bestow the Holy Spirit upon us, and save us from the power of sin. Amen.

 

The Rev. Dr. Christy WendlandAssociate Dean of the College

Day 1

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at that time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Matthew 24: 36-44 (NIV)

 

Anticipation can be a tricky thing, especially when you don’t know when you want to happen will actually happen. We can be excited, or we can be nervous. We can also be excitedly nervous. Waiting for something is never easy. However, we can be rest assured that whatever we are anticipating will happen, even if it doesn’t happen the way we want it to.

 

The advent season is very special to the believer. This is the time where we wait and prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ as well as his return at the Second Coming. We don’t know when Jesus Christ will return but we know it will happen. We don’t know when the trumpet will sound, and he will descend but we know it will happen. How do we know it will happen? Well because he was born to fulfill prophecy and we know that GOD’s word will not return unto us void as he said in the 55th chapter of Isaiah. Just know that his return, like his birth, will be worth the wait.

 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this advent season. As we eagerly await the return of Jesus Christ, please help us to prepare ourselves and each other for that return.

In Jesus' Name,

Amen    

 

Dr. John Lesaine ‘07 serves as assistant dean for academic affairs and associate professor of sport professions.

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