Pause

Advent is here: the season that beckons us to remember our past and where we came from and yet also compels us to look to the future of the promised Messiah.

In the midst of schedules, homework, church obligations, holiday concerts, parties, and play…

We are called to pause for a moment and focus on God, our Creator and on Christ, the Bringer of Peace.

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Listen

Let me hear what the Lord God says, because he speaks peace to his people and to his faithful ones. Don’t let them return to foolish ways. God’s salvation is very close to those who honor him so that his glory can live in our land. Faithful love and truth have met; righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth springs up from the ground; righteousness gazes down from heaven. Yes, the Lord gives what is good, and our land yields its produce. Righteousness walks before God, making a road for his steps.

Psalm 85:8-13

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Think

The psalm writer remembers the faithfulness of God’s covenant and is also reminded of the many struggles for the people of Israel in ages past. It takes an honest person to acknowledge the error in one’s ways. Here, the psalmist is willing to admit that the people have not always been faithful.

And yet despite the brokenness and the humanness of God’s children, God continues to provide. God’s kingdom is slowly, patiently being realized here on earth. The psalmist uses words like “salvation” and “glory” to describe the coming reality of God’s reign.

And then the author writes about “righteousness.” It kisses peace — what a beautiful image! It gazes down from heaven. It walks before God. Righteousness is what we celebrate in God’s forgiveness. We are so privileged to be part of God’s presence here on earth!

Jeff Binder

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Pray

Loving Creator, I thank you for your patience and your love. Help me to walk more faithfully with you. Help me to bring your kingdom here on earth. Amen.

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Go

May we be comforted by your history of loving us, dear Lord, at peace with your daily presence, and energized for the adventures that lie ahead.

Jeff Binder

Jeff Binder is serving as the Designated Pastor of Valley Community Presbyterian Church in Portland, Oregon. He is engaged to be married to his fiancée, Julie, in December 2017. Jeff is an avid Cleveland sports fan and outdoorsman; he can be found cheering on the efforts of his teams or enjoying hiking or running on his days off. Jeff’s writings and sermons can be found on his blog: https://revbinder.wordpress.com.

Unto Us: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Passport

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