As we journey through Advent, we would be wise to remember that is in fact a journey – not just for the Biblical cast, but for us as well.

Prepare yourselves today to listen for the word and guidance of God as we, too, follow the star closer to the heart of God.

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When the Lord changed Zion’s circumstances for the better, it was like we had been dreaming. Our mouths were suddenly filled with laughter; our tongues were filled with joyful shouts. It was even said, at that time, among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them!” Yes, the Lord has done great things for us, and we are overjoyed.

Psalm 126:1-3

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Sometimes our journey is difficult. That’s part of life, and the psalms often point to difficult human experiences. But when our circumstances change for the better it is important to remember God at the heart of it, and to proclaim God’s good news. That is what makes our testimony.

The Israelite’s testimony centers on the way God was with them in the hard times and the ways they celebrated when their circumstances changed. This passage in Psalm 126 is part of the testimony of the people of God. Here they bear witness: their change in circumstances came like a sudden surprise, like waking up from a dream, and they couldn’t stop shouting and laughing with joy!

Following the star is not always easy, and we are not guaranteed smooth passage. But like the Israelites, we should celebrate when good things happen and our mouths are filled with laughter.

Melissa Kessler

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God, help me to remember you are with me when things are tough and to celebrate and share my story when my mouth is filled with laughter and I am overjoyed. Amen.

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Look today for the stars in your life, providing guidance along the journey towards the heart of God – your mission in this world.

And go, following bravely and joyfully, wherever the star may lead you as you make Christ’s presence in the world known.

Melissa Kessler

Rev. Melissa Kessler is a minister in SW Virginia where she enjoys porch sitting, changing leaves, and talking about the nature of God and faith in our lives.

Unto Us: Away In A Manger


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