Martins Creek Mennonite Advent Devotional, Day 26

During the season of Advent, people from our congregation at Martins Creek Mennonite Church have collaborated to create an Advent devotional.  Each entry has been written by one of our own, both young and old.  We hope these meditations are a blessing to you during this Advent season.

1 Samuel 1:24-28                                               

Imagine how much thanksgiving Hannah must have felt to be able to surrender her only son. She was so full of thanksgiving that she gave her son, Samuel, to be a disciple for the God who answered her prayers. I am sure she had moments of feeling like she could not give him up, but ultimately Hannah knew God had a plan and that she and Samuel were a part of that plan. God calls us to be willing to let go of anything, even if it’s something we asked for. Hannah prayed for a son, whom God gave her, not for her glory, but for His.

Having this prayer answered made Hannah an even stronger believer that God was listening and cared deeply about her. Our lives are full of things to give thanks for; the challenge is being aware of those blessings and giving the glory to Him.

This story is also a great reminder of how God keeps His promises. So when we make promises to God it is equally important to keep the promises we make to Him. As you go through this Christmas season be aware of the promises you make in the presence of God and give thanks to Him for the promises he has made and kept ever since His only Son was born in that stable in Bethlehem.

Martins Creek Mennonite Advent Devotional, Day 25

During the season of Advent, people from our congregation at Martins Creek Mennonite Church have collaborated to create an Advent devotional.  Each entry has been written by one of our own, both young and old.  We hope these meditations are a blessing to you during this Advent season.

Luke 1:39-45                                                        

After spending time with family on Thanksgiving, people start making lists of everything that needs to be purchased for Christmas. A sense of urgency, stress, and restlessness is thick upon the air. People start going to stores and shops to find the best gifts for everyone on their list. Speed walking through stores with carts filled to the brim with presents, and fighting for places in the checkout line creates an exhausting season controlled by consumerism. The pressure of the Christmas season is comparable to the pressure experienced by deep sea divers. Often individuals forget about the true meaning of Christmas. What if we took time away from shopping to spend time reading the Bible? “Let me check my planner, hmm, my first opening is December the 26th.” Is it even possible to make time in our pre-Christmas schedule, even to read God’s Word? How is it possible to be filled with the Holy Spirit if we do not spend time with Jesus?

After Mary learned that she was going to be the mother of Jesus she hurried to go and tell Elizabeth her news. Mary did not have news that she had found the best Christmas present in a store. On the contrary, she ran to Elizabeth with unrestrained joy, given to her from God. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. If we would be filled with the Spirit as much as we are filled with Christmas excitement, how much more meaning would the Christmas season have?

Martins Creek Mennonite Advent Devotional, Day 24

During the season of Advent, people from our congregation at Martins Creek Mennonite Church have collaborated to create an Advent devotional.  Each entry has been written by one of our own, both young and old.  We hope these meditations are a blessing to you during this Advent season.

Psalm 24:1-6                                                          

The Lord’s Claim: Psalm 24: 1-2

The Earth and all the solar system and all those who dwell on Earth are his by creation.  All the empires of space are his.  The Milky Way with its one hundred billion stars is his.  Yet among all these he names the earth, the planet where disease, suffering, pain and sin are out of control.  It is to this place where the battle will be fought and won at a place called Calvary.

The Lords Call: Psalm 24:3-4

Who shall ascend?  Who shall stand?  There is one hill, Mount Moriah where the king claims for himself.  God has chosen Jerusalem to put his name there. (II Chronicles 6:6)  What man is worthy to be brought into contact with a god of such might and glory?  Who shall stand in the tabernacle of God to serve him?

The Answer: Psalm 24: 5-6

Christ-likeness of life (v. 4):  Clean hands = the outward life.  Pure Heart = that is the inward life; we do what we do because we are what we are. The word vanity became the text for Ecclesiastes, a message about the emptiness and shallowness of this world.

Christ-like speech:  Whose word counts, which are trustworthy and dependable.

Psalm 24 concludes with the Lord’s coming.  It speaks five times of the coming one as the King of Glory.  Who is the King of Glory?  The Lord Strong and Mighty!  This coming king will also be God.  This Psalm is definitely Messianic.

Martins Creek Mennonite Advent Devotional, Day 23

During the season of Advent, people from our congregation at Martins Creek Mennonite Church have collaborated to create an Advent devotional.  Each entry has been written by one of our own, both young and old.  We hope these meditations are a blessing to you during this Advent season.

Luke 1:5-25                                                      

As the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth is told in today’s word for us, there are some important reminders that can be learned as we seek God to intervene in the struggles of life that we experience as we live in a broken and fallen world.

In verse 6 & 7a, it gives us a glimpse of what kind of followers of God Zechariah and Elizabeth were.  It says, “Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.’ But they had no children….”  Did Zechariah and Elizabeth ever give up their allegiance to Yaweh, because they were never given a child?  No!  They continued to be obedient to Him.

As we look further into this story, we see Zechariah’s reaction to Gabrielle’s message from God.  In his humanity, Zechariah said, “How can I be sure of this?’   I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”  How often do we get to the point in our prayer life that we lose faith in believing that God hears our prayers, because our prayers go unanswered?  Doubt begins to take over where our faith was once strong, and as a result, we doubt the possibilities that God can perform in our lives, because we believe more in the impossibilities.

Maybe today youfeel as though your prayers have gone unheard.  What can we learn from this word from God?  Quiet yourself before God, be obedient to Him, and believe one day your prayer will be answered.

Martins Creek Mennonite Advent Devotional, Day 22

During the season of Advent, people from our congregation at Martins Creek Mennonite Church have collaborated to create an Advent devotional.  Each entry has been written by one of our own, both young and old.  We hope these meditations are a blessing to you during this Advent season.

Luke 1:26-38                                                           

It’s only one week until Christmas; do you have your shopping done?  What about the cookies and the candy?  Don’t forget the cards and make sure you have written down on your calendar all the different places you are going to visit.  Most importantly, don’t lose the master list!  Can you imagine the yule tide tragedy if the list was accidentally thrown away?

It’s wonderful to be organized and I wish I was better at it.  Organization and a well thought out plan can really reduce the amount of stress in one’s life.  This is true for Christmas planning as well as for a long term view and plan for all of life.  We plan when we go to the dentist, when to go on vacation, when to retire and maybe, for those who are younger, what college we will attend and what career we will choose.  Sometimes, though, there are things that come along and blow those best laid plans to millions of pieces, those things called “interruptions.”  The frustration of someone or something coming along and interrupting my plans is sometimes unbearable.  How dare they change my plans!  How dare the LORD ask me to change my plans?  Doesn’t he know what I want to do?

I’m sure Mary felt the same way.  She was probably looking forward to her wedding day with Joseph, living in a small home, and then someday in the future she would have a family.  But the LORD had other plans for her.  A young, teenage girl can teach all of us how to deal with the stress of when God comes and asks you to change your plans, of when he interrupts our far too important lives.  May we echo Mary’s words, “I am the servant of the LORD; let it be to me according to your word.”

Martins Creek Mennonite Advent Devotional, Day 21

During the season of Advent, people from our congregation at Martins Creek Mennonite Church have collaborated to create an Advent devotional.  Each entry has been written by one of our own, both young and old.  We hope these meditations are a blessing to you during this Advent season.

Matthew 1:1-17                                           

“…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ”.

Matthew ends with Jesus Christ, while Luke, the other gospel with genealogy, begins with Jesus.  The reading of all the names of this genealogy is laborious but it’s important to note who we are a part of, and who has been significant in our lives.  You will note in reading the genealogy, not all are a part of the true linage.  They became a part of the linage because of faithfulness to God who makes us all one.

Each of the persons in this linage were people who sinned, repented and moved on living as faithfully as they could.  Ruth a Moabite women is a part of the linage because of her faith.  David repented of his sin.  We could go on and on.

The connecting line for this genealogy is one of faith.  Who in your history has been meaningful and helped connect you to the living Christ?  Who might say that YOU were significant in leading them to the living Christ?

Martins Creek Mennonite Advent Devotional, Day 20

During the season of Advent, people from our congregation at Martins Creek Mennonite Church have collaborated to create an Advent devotional.  Each entry has been written by one of our own, both young and old.  We hope these meditations are a blessing to you during this Advent season.

Luke 7:24-30                                              

Jesus was addressing the crowd about John the Baptist, who had left his home and family, lived in the dessert and ate locust and honey in order to do the will of God.  He was called to be the messenger to the people to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.  John did not know the total purpose and plan of, and for, Jesus’ life but he still did as God had directed.

We know the reason that Jesus the Messiah came, the purpose of his life, his death and his resurrection.  We have God’s word written word; we know “the way, the truth and the life.”  Jesus gave his life so that you and I might have eternal life with him in Heaven.  God has called us to share this message with the people around us and to be prophets to proclaim the Good News to all people.

So, this Christmas season, let’s go out and be Christmas lights to proclaim the Good News to others.  Let’s help them to know the reason for the season.