And, Until Then?

By Bettie Reddick Isaiah 11:6‐9 The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw…

Inward Preparation

By Karen Calhoun Philippians 4:4‐7 Advent is a season of inward preparation. Advent is the work of the soul. Paul gives us the instructions in Philippians 4:4-7. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but…

Peace and Wholeness

By Ellen Di Giosia Isaiah 9:6‐7 Whenever I read this passage, I immediately start singing: “FOR unto US a child is BO-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-O- o-o-o-o-[this part goes on and on]-o-o-o-ORN!” I love Handel’s Messiah, but every singer knows that this can get really old – so old that the text itself seems to lose its luster. (This…

Hints of Advent

By Edgar Twedt Psalm 62:1‐2, 5‐7 1. For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. 2. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken. 5. For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. 6. He alone is…

Because of Suffering

By Patty Villareal Romans 8:18‐25 “I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us.” (v. 18) Suffering comes in many forms, relative to the person who is suffering. It may be a physical pain as simple as stubbing your toe on the side of…

Christmas in China

By Cyndi Levesque Isaiah 40:31 Christmas in China was a special experience. Marc and I lived in Nanning, China, for four years, and would always remain there at Christmas because the Chinese New Year holiday wasn’t until late January to early February. We would smile as we walked through shopping malls hearing Christmas carols in…

Defining Moment

By Randy Blanton Jeremiah 29:11‐13 I’ve had the unpleasant experiences of wondering how I came to be in difficult and distressing circumstances. I had never planned for such to occur, but I found myself in such situations nonetheless. Such experiences are typically overwhelming and appear to be all encompassing. Similarly, these circumstances leave me wondering…

First-World Problems

By Randy Edwards Psalm 63:1‐8 I cannot hear this passage without also hearing in my head and heart an extraordinary solo written with this very text by Dan Goeller. The melodic line, sung by a mezzo soprano, is deeply rich and utterly passionate. “O Lord, You are my God, how I long for You! How…

The One Who Loves Us

By Diana Bridges Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. In Isaiah 7:14, God gives embattled King Ahaz a sign of hope, whether he wants one or not. As followers of Jesus, we see in these…

Delayed Gratification

By Garrett Vickrey Isaiah 40:1-5 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness…