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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Comfort, comfort my people! says your God. Speak compassionately to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her compulsory service has ended, that her penalty has been paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins!

Isaiah 40:1-2

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No matter how much I loved traveling or summer camp or even school, it was always so comfortable to get back home and sit down on my couch. As I would sit there the rest of the world seemed to become a little easier to bear.

“Comfort” was the message the Lord shared with the people of Israel. After trials, tribulations, and pain, the people were given a message of relief. How many of us would think of our relationship with God as comfortable?

Perhaps what God has in mind is that after all of the craziness of the year — after all of the tests, the schedules, the drama of everyday life — we can sit down, breathe deeply, and simply be present with our Creator once again. God calls us to this place of comfortable presence. This season of Advent, we are called to return home to be with our God.

Jeff Binder

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Loving God, thank you for this day. Allow me to breathe in deeply, to exhale slowly, and simply be present with you, my Creator, my great peace. Amen.

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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:

Unto Us: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel


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