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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Go up on a high mountain, messenger Zion! Raise your voice and shout, messenger Jerusalem! Raise it; don’t be afraid; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” Here is the Lord God, coming with strength, with a triumphant arm, bringing his reward with him and his payment before him. Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock; he will gather lambs in his arms and lift them onto his lap. He will gently guide the nursing ewes.

Isaiah 40:9-11

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We read a few different messages about the character of God in these verses. Is God some muscular enforcer, or is God more of a kind, gentle shepherd? Regardless of how we may envision God, we are called to proclaim God’s presence in the world. God is here!

How many times have you ever proclaimed God’s presence in the world? I’m not necessarily talking about getting a milk crate and a megaphone and waving the Bible in the air like a street corner preacher, but perhaps in more subtle ways. How can we share with our friends that God is present in our daily lives? On the soccer field, in detention, on the bus, as we walk down the city streets?

How would you describe God to the people you care for most? Would God be large and in charge? Or would God be more gentle and loving? Which of these images do the people in your world need in this season?

Jeff Binder

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Lord, I want to be a messenger of your presence here on earth. What words should I use? What actions can I take? Help prepare my heart for your presence each and every day. 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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