Advent Day 2 : BROKEN EXPECTATIONS Luke 1:8-10
Day 1 : BROKEN EXPECTATIONS Luke 1:1-7
He was nervous; he wasn’t getting any younger. As the other priests gathered around, the lot fell: it was his time. Zacharias was the chosen one to perform the most sacred of task. He was chosen to enter the temple and burn the incense. He knew that many would gather just outside to pray while he performed his duties.
He had trained for this.
He knew what to do.
He thought he knew what to expect.
But then an angel appeared.
MOVEMENT ONE : PINING FOR HIS PRESENCE
Herod was the first Jewish king to take the throne in Judea since the fall of the southern Kingdom 580 years before. For almost 600 years Jews had been humiliated and enslaved under the Babylonians, Persians, the Greeks under Alexander the Great, Egypt and the Syrians. Now during this time, it is the mighty Roman Empire that is really calling the shots.
Israel was in chaos. Their ruler Herod, merely a puppet king. He was not a spiritual leader, nor a role model. He built temples and idols to false gods and brought the violent Roman games into the land. The outside influences flooded in from the surrounding areas as well. The economy was unpredictable, there was no sense of stability or security. Oppression was always just around the corner.
In such circumstances, I can see how the people thought that the promised Messiah would be a political Savior. I understand how they thought that kind of Messiah would “fix” things. Many times I also have my ideas of what the Savior will do in my life. I try to guess the song He will sing.
Introduction to the Music of the Incarnation
Whenever there is Silence we usually have the tendency to read into it. Why is it there? What does it mean. In the silence that was created between the last words of Malachi to the first words of Matthew, the hearts of the world looked into the space created by God’s silence. Absence may cause the heart to grow fonder, yet the silence of God’s word from the world created a chasm so deep that souls longed for an echo of it to know their worth.
We have lost the use of the word “pining” from our everyday vernacular. The definition is to languish, to yearn intensely and persistently especially for something unattainable.
In this silence the world pined for the presence of God.
A Reflection on Sabbath
Join us this Advent and Christmas Season as we explore the Music of the Incarnation. We hope that you enjoying reading this brief introduction to the study. You can join us by downloading “The ABBEY” app in your phones app store and subscribing to follow along!
Reflections on Growth
As you think about (wrestle with?) the idea of Sabbath rest, what are your thoughts and feelings? What barriers or resistances or hurdles come to mind?
If you had to pick one of the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter - which would you pick to describe your life right now? Why?
In our society that is obsessed with productivity and busyness, we can tend towards the unhealthy expectation of constant fruitfulness. How have you seen the issue of comparison surface in different areas of your life?
In our fast paced world we so often put our head down and push through, yet in doing so we miss much of what the Lord has done. In Psalm 23, the goodness and loving kindness of the Lord follows us. Although we so often want the significance of things revealed at the start, it is only when we stop and cease from our efforts that we see the work of the Lord.
I have heard this verse countless times, yet why do I feel so stuck in my old ways? Perhaps it is environmental? Perhaps it is because of the voice that replays in my head, recounting all of the mistakes I have made. It is hard for me at times believe that this verse is true. As a campus minister, I share this verse with others and expound on the grace of God, yet when it comes to personal application, I think there is a loop hole concerning me.
When you go into the mall you see the big map with a red dot that says, “You are here”. Re-read this section of Psalm 130 and insert your name. Pay attention to your “red dot” as you read. Where are you? Impatient? Open? Confused? Hopeful?
In the book “The Needs Of The Heart”, author Chip Dodd addresses our need of relationship. He suggest there are three main areas in which we need to connect: connection with God, connection with self and connection with others. If these are all three areas that we can experience relationship and connection, they are also areas in which we can experience loneliness.
Below you can explore how you are doing in each of these areas of connection and prayerfully, garner some next steps to move towards intimacy in each of these relationships.