Instead of a Resolution…

The passage from Revelation 21:1-6A invites us to embrace God’s presence in the new year. Instead of fleeting resolutions, we’re encouraged to seek a guiding “word” for the year. This intentional exploration fosters a deeper connection with God and a mindful approach to the year ahead. Embrace the journey and stay receptive to God’s guidance.

Baptism of Jesus

In Mark 1:9, Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan River, symbolizing unity with humanity. Baptism symbolizes grace, transformation, and renewal, representing God’s presence and claiming of individuals. It’s a continuous process and an invitation to let the Holy Spirit guide our lives. The baptismal blessing assures us of God’s unwavering love and claim on us.

Day 23. Provocative Humility.

“Provocative Humility,” a Christmas message by Mary Pandiani, discusses the intersection of provocation and humility evidenced in the story of Christmas. The piece emphasizes the impact and importance of humility, love, and understanding in human interactions.

Day 20. Waiting.

Cindy Waple’s Advent-themed prose explores the transition from waiting for (answers, change, healing) to waiting in (Christ, stillness, mystery, love).

Day 18. Permission to Spread Joy.

Julie Lary reflects on her understanding of Advent, transitioning from viewing it as simply a countdown calendar to seeing it as a season granting permission to spread joy.

Day 12. Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights.

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabean Revolt and the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. It is celebrated with family gatherings, gift-giving, and special foods. The main focus is the lighting of menorahs, reflecting the miracle of the oil lasting eight days.

Day 9. Light Within.

Mary Pandiani reflects on the essence of the Advent season and Christmas, illustrating it through the joy of a newborn baby. She emphasizes that God’s presence and gift of light are within everyone, a view supported by William Shannon.

Day 8. Walking in Darkness.

Sandy Shipman recounts a challenging but beautiful hike in Arches National Park in the pitch dark, which serves as a metaphor for darker times in life. The author relates her experiences to Advent, emphasizing endurance through darkness and the hope represented by light.

Day 6. Wait Is a Four-Letter Word.

Zoanna expresses difficulty embracing Advent while waiting in everyday life. She suggests that amid such pauses, reflecting on words like “Wait, Hope, Love, Rest” is enough.

Day 4. Arrival.

Christopher Ball reflects on anticipation, endurance, and faith for Advent Day 3.

Day 3. A Sweet Treat for You.

The post explores the tradition and significance of Advent calendars that count down the days until Christmas. Originated by German Lutherans, these calendars have evolved to include devotional readings or small gifts. The author relives her childhood enthusiasm for Advent calendars through daily contemplative writings on the ‘Here & Now’ blog.

Day 2. A Season of Waiting.

Lorina Meade reflects on the importance of living in the present moment, particularly during Advent. She compares it to the Biblical manna, the daily sustenance provided by God, emphasizing the need to trust in God’s daily provisions while also anticipating the future. Meade encourages enjoying Christmas traditions and preparations as they happen, rather than rushing towards the main day, thereby capturing the essence of ‘nowness’.