Bottles from the Springs-12 Springs-Bottled Advent 12/9/19... Ever since I arrived with my family to Florida back in '96, I have had a bad time recovering a sense of Joy or anticipation around Advent. I think I felt deprived because-no visible winter! No Snow to engage a childish wonder and a sense of an unexpected pause in human activities as folks have to sit back and just watch “the woods fill up with Snow” or something....Sorry Mr. Frost! So it is important for me to hear words about Hope and Peace. We reflected on the Genesis story and how in the midst of the beginning of the Human Story, we find the first murder but also a promise that God is not done. He is our Hope. In Genesis 4 we hear how the Earth (Gaia – Greek for the planet, not Cosmos-what humanity builds on top of it) was cursed because of bloodshed. And so suffering begins- and here is where Gospel bring us Hope because the sent messenger from the Spirit of Christ to us-Apostle Paul shows us our desires are not all smashed flat in a Christ hung on a tree and bearing Adam's curse... No in Romans 8:18-30 we hear the Good News: 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. We are shown the reversal of the Curse alive in us who embody Jesus' Spirit in the ekklesia community-The Body of Jesus Christ-The Bride of Jesus Christ-a City set on a Hill-The new Jerusalem and the Temple of the Holy Spirit-that's us folks! And it is truly why we ought to celebrate Jesus our Hope! He has turn our lives into living blessings upon a planet cursed with darkness. A light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot put it out! Hope-the shared desire of God among us And we are called by Isaiah 2:5 to live the call out-to be the light in the Temple-indeed a lit house. We may suffer but we also have light. We shine in the midst of out planet's curse, we are a promise to the Cosmos as well as the Geos around us-the human society and the planet will see a Word in flesh in it's midst-the suffering but redeemed Bride who is waiting on her Groom. Coming, but not Yet and so we counsel and offer, HOPE.
And because it's Christmas, you get two bottles for one blog. Peace- We hear of Peace-the Angelic message which will not occur until we do our work here on earth. How does God use us to bring Peace in out Time/Space continuum? John the Baptist in Matthew 3:4-11 prepared the way for the Messiah's advent with a message of preparing the road-God's people are a road crew! As Bob Dylan puts it, “there's a slow train coming, coming round the bend”. It's slow because the crew is out front preparing the way for it to advance and that crew is us. And so John called out for repentance which will make the way ready for Peace to roll through. Matthew 3:4-11 New International Version (NIV) 4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 “I baptize you with[a] water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire. We heard a live explanation of how this happens as Ryan interviewed Michelle Caseywise and we saw a life redeemed, living out repentance and in Joy as well! She shares the Love of God with Hugs for all in the Sober morning light of her Christmas Shalom! The Peace that defies the Worlds understanding of Peace. A Peace that grants her a mission to do God's desire-Love her neighbor! On the planet to do God's will and so the Peace declared by Angels on a hillside one night is spread abroad by us amongst our neighborhoods as long as we are the “Humans of Good (God's) Will.”