Pause

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

from “The Summons,” John Bell, 1987

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Listen

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:18-21

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Think

Very little frustrates me more than political pundits. When a news anchor asks a question, it seems they always give a great answer…but often to a question that was never asked. If only they would respond to the question they were asked. More than once I have exclaimed, “Just answer the question!”

In Matthew 1, Joseph had been asking some hard questions about what to do about his fiancée, Mary. God responded to the very question he was asking with an answer bigger than he ever imagined. Not only could Joseph trust God, but God would use his child to bring hope to the world.

Asking the hard questions is not easy. Yet, God is bigger than any of our questions. The tricky part is asking the tough questions of God and then listening for God's response. God may not always respond with what we wish to hear, but God's response is always the right answer and always life-changing to the one who will listen and trust.

Dale Tadlock

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Pray

God of Questions and Answers, give me the strength today to ask the questions that are buried deep within my heart. Help me to be honest with you. At the same time, give me the courage to listen and accept the response I hear from you. With each answer, shape me, mold me, and prepare me to receive from you today. Amen.

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Go

Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

from “The Summons,” John Bell, 1987

Dale Tadlock

Dale Tadlock is a veteran youth minister who now serves as a Coordinator at Passport Camps. A Mississippi native, Dale now resides in Birmingham, AL, with his wife and two teenage daughters.

Advent Waiting: Wexford Carol - O Come LIttle Children

David Burroughs

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