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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Lord, change our circumstances for the better, like dry streams in the desert waste! Let those who plant with tears reap the harvest with joyful shouts. Let those who go out, crying and carrying their seed, come home with joyful shouts, carrying bales of grain!

Psalm 126:4-6

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This prayer from the Israelites is a reminder to us that circumstances do change, from times of tears to joyful shouts and from mere seeds to fully-grown bales of grain. That is the hope and promise of Advent. Out of the cold, hard ground of winter, green life will spring up. In a world that can seem so dark, gray, and dreary, light will come. Where there are tears and hopelessness, joy and fulfillment will be ours.

Advent is a time of hoping that the circumstances of this world will change for the better. And this psalm is a reminder to us that at the heart of this season are our prayers. When things are tough, hold on to the faith that God is present and hears your cries. When things are tough, turn to this psalm and pray it to God. When things are tough, hold on to the hope that, as sure as the sun will shine and the grass will grow again, joyful shouts will come!

Melissa Kessler

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God, help me keep you near even when I’m crying tears or carrying a heavy burden. Remind me that even when the journey is hard there will be time for laughter and joy. 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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