Advent Meditation: First Thursday

Prayer

Unexpected God,

your advent alarms us.

wake us from drowsy worship,

from the sleep that neglects love,

and the sedative of misdirected frenzy.

awaken us now to your coming

and bend our angers into your peace.  Amen

 

Scripture

Isaiah 4:2-6

In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem,when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.[a] Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

 

Meditation

We are learning to be beach people.  This will be our second summer in Fremantle and we are beginning to understand that there are necessities for a trip to the beach, at least a trip that is more that looking at the sunset.  We have never been beach people, hard to be a beach person when you live in Indiana.  Sure the Michigan coast line is a few hours away but that does not make you a beach person.

One thing we have noticed is that the sun is hot when it is shining down on the beach.  You can really feel the heat.  So after a few trips to the beach last summer we began to notice beach tents that people would set up to shade themselves from the sun.  We knew that if we were going to be beach people we would need a sun shade tent.  Our first trip to the beach this year revealed that we are really not beach people yet.  I just set up the tent.  There it was done now to enjoy the beach, but the sun located in the sky at the perfect angle to shine right in my tent rendering the tent useless.  I must admit that this is user error.  I need to pay attention to where the sun is located and track where it is heads to make the appropriate set up and adjustments that are needed for the tent to be all it can be for us.  I have high aspirations for that tent.

The Lord provides a tent for the heat of the day and a refuge from the storm.  In the in between, the now and not yet, our lives can seem to be a continuous trip on a hot beach with the sun beating down on our backs and no tent in sight. Sometimes we have the tent but it doesn’t seem to be facing the right way to cover us.  We call out for cover.  God hears us and provides.  His Son Jesus is our tent.  He covers us from the heat and storm.  He covers us with His righteousness.  He covers us with His hope.  He covers us with His love.  He does this in the Spirit, through His word and His body the church.  We, in Christ, are the tent for each other.  He has fashioned us into the cover in the hard and hot times.  We cover each other because we have been covered by Christ.

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