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Advent Words 20 & 21 - Go and Rest

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

I will admit that I looked at the Advent Word for today with a bit of trepidation.  “Go”?  I don’t need any more “go” in my life!  Especially at this time of year, I feel like I am going all the time.  But then I took a look at the word for...

Advent Word 19 - Bless

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

One of my “go-to” books is “To Bless the Space Between Us” by John O’Donohue.  This book has a blessing for just about everything – for life’s transitions, for various emotions, for family members, for callings, for beginnings, for endings. ...

Advent Word 18 - Worship

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

I often think of that first Christmas gathering in the stable as a form of worship. The shepherds had heard about the birth of this special child from the angels, and they just had to find the child to give him glory and honor. Luke’s Gospel tells us that when they left the stable, they...

Advent Word 17 - Pray

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

This past Sunday, the topic for our high school Confirmation class was prayer. We talked a little about prayer, but most of the class was spent praying. Jeff and I wanted to introduce the class to different types of prayer in order to expand their ideas of what prayer can be. They tried a breath...

Advent Word 16 - Learn

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

Several times throughout the Gospels, the disciples seem slow to learn what Jesus is trying to teach them. They don’t understand his parables, they are surprised by his miracles, and they ask questions about things they should already know. Their confusion makes sense … Jesus was...

Advent Word 15 - Turn

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

When we celebrate Christmas, we know all about the impact the birth of this tiny baby has had - and continues to have - on the world. At the time of Jesus’ birth, though, people were likely not so sure. Mary, however, did have an idea of how the world would turn with the birth of Jesus. In...

Advent Word 14 - Gather

Posted by Bethany Nelson on

Whenever I look at a nativity scene, I am always aware of how many disparate creatures gathered together to celebrate the baby Jesus. Where else would one find new parents, a little baby, barn animals, shepherds, and angels gathered in the same place? Not to mention the magi, who arrived later...

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...