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Advent Word 13 - Water

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

At Blackwater Pond, by Mary Oliver At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have settled after a night of rain. I dip my cupped hands.  I drink a long time.  It tastes like stone, leaves, fire.  It falls cold into my body, waking the bones.  I hear them deep inside me...

Advent Word 12 - Harmony

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

A couple years ago, one of our congregants generously offered to do some StrengthsFinder work with Rob and me.  We each had to take an extensive survey, and then we met with her to better understand our strengths.  The results of the survey showed that my main strength is...

Advent Word 11 - Confess

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

It feels a little strange to consider the word “confess” in Advent. That is a word seemingly more appropriate for Lent, which is the traditional Christian season for self-reflection and repentance. Lent, not Advent, is usually the season where we focus on confessing our sins. That...

Advent Word 10 - Grace

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

Grace is one of those words that seems to mean different things to different people. For some, grace is all about God’s abundant love. For others, grace is forgiveness. For others, grace is related to Spirit. I have always found grace to be something that is better experienced than...

Advent Word 9 - Root

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

When I have shown people our list of Advent words, most have focused on today’s word – “root.” And most have asked the question, “What does 'root' have to do with Advent?” I did not create the list, so can only guess, but likely the list creators were thinking...

Advent Word 8 - Worthy

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

When the people heard that the long-awaited Messiah was coming, many thought this Messiah would be a great ruler. Perhaps a military general who would vanquish their enemies. Instead what they got was a baby born in a manger. Some people understood right away the importance of this baby. The...

Advent Word 7 - Unity

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

One But Many, By Suzy Kassem One God, many faces. One family, many races. One truth, many paths. One heart, many complexions. One light, many reflections. One world, many imperfections. ONE. We are all one, But many.

Advent Word 6 - House

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

After Jesus is born, the magi finally arrive in Bethlehem bearing their precious gifts for the Christ child.  Their arrival in Bethlehem is recorded in Matthew’s Gospel as follows, “When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.  On entering the...

Advent Word 5 - Raise

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

One of my favorite Christmas hymns is “Joy to the World.” (Fun fact … “Joy to the World” was not intended as a Christmas song. It was actually inspired by Psalm 98. It’s imagery, however, is perfect for Christmas!) I always feel such joy during the Advent and...

Advent Word 4 - Humble

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

By all accounts, Mary the mother of Jesus, came from a very humble background.  She was not from a family of power or privilege.  She likely led a rather nondescript life until the day an angel visited her and greeted her by saying, “Greetings favored one.  The Lord is with...