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THE REGIONAL BLOG

Advent - Tuesday, December 25th

By Rev. John M. Richardson - Tuesday December 25, 2018

Christmas Day ~ Please Read Luke 1: 46b – 55 - In a sense, because of the cycle of the Julian calendar, the opening two lines of Wendell Berry’s 6th poem in the 1987 Sabbath poems collection, “Remembering that it happened once, we cannot turn away the thought…” were fulfilled this year. Yesterday, my day began and ended in worship, remembering that God came into this world in the form of a baby, named Jesus by his mother.

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Advent - Monday, December 24th

By The Christian Church in West Virginia and Pennsylvania - Monday December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve ~ O God, you are never revealed so completely as in the face of the child of Bethlehem. Hear us as we give you thanks for those who today reveal your love in our world in his spirit. We pray for those who give you hands by doing their best toward their brothers and sisters; for those who give you a mouth by speaking words of justice and peace for the broken and oppressed; for those who give your poverty the look of hope for your reign, revealing you simply by being your children, reflecting your beauty as did your only Son Jesus.

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Advent - Saturday/Sunday, December 22nd/23rd

By Rev Jeff Gill - Saturday December 22, 2018

A star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel… ~ Numbers 24:17 (NRSV) - Christmas is, practically speaking, a birthday celebration. Did Jesus celebrate his birthday? The truth is that we don’t know. Josephus, a Jewish author of just a few decades after Jesus’ time, said that people in Israel did not observe the date of their birth, but he goes on to explain that they don’t want to encourage an occasion for heavy drinking, implying that maybe people were doing just that. But birthdays seem in the literature to be more of an Egyptian or outlander thing.

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Advent - Friday, December 21st

By Rev. Dr. Tom Stephenson - Friday December 21, 2018

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14 - “Troublesome Terminology” - It comes around every single year at this time. Well, yes, Christmas, but what I’m referring to is the regular litany about how the culture has so diminished the true meaning of Christmas. To that I simply ask, “Is anyone really surprised?” That grousing came again in a CNN story by reporter Jeanne Moos, wherein she flipped through the advertisements in the New York Times. She noted that every ad, except one, promoted its event as a ‘Holiday’ sale.

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Advent -Thursday, December 20th

By Rev. Ralph S. Wearstler - Thursday December 20, 2018

Malachi 3:1 (NIV) - "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty. - Back when I was a kid, I had a favorite Christmas Carol, and I couldn’t wait to hear it played on the radio stations. From Thanksgiving through Christmas I would scan the dial searching for it. In 1958 when it was first aired it reached #1 on the Billboard Music Chart. That was the last time a Christmas song would do that. Maybe it was one of your favorites as well, because it’s still a classic today. I still hear it played from time to time during the holiday season.

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Advent - Wednesday, December 19th

By Rev. Mike Valentine - Wednesday December 19, 2018

Please read Isaiah 40:9 - You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up to a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, "Here is your God!” Behold, the Sovereign Lord comes….. Since being retired I have had plenty of time to reflect. One of things I had trouble resolving over my forty-one years was dealing with interruptions. You know, like being engrossed with my plans, my agenda, my program, my sermon, my space, and then, suddenly, Bam! The phone rings.

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Advent - Tuesday, December 18th

By Wendy Taylor - Tuesday December 18, 2018

Hebrews 13:2 (NIV): 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. - Awaitng the arrival… It is the beginning of the holiday season and in my world, the beginning of preparing for guests. A number of years back, I realized a dear friend of mine, Shannon, possessed one of the most honorable and cherished spiritual gifts in my opinion…the gift of hospitality.

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Advent - Monday, December 17th

By Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr. - Monday December 17, 2018

“The Power of Preparation” - Please read Mark 1.1-8 - What is the Advent blessing that God has for us? News! It won’t come through Macy’s but through Mary. It won’t be encased in flashy gift wrap but in swaddling clothes. The gift was born in a manger, and now wants to be born in us. John suggests the blessing we need is the Christ Child. However, we’ve got to get ready for him. We must participate in our own blessing.

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Advent - Saturday/Sunday, December 15th/16th

By Faith Solon - Saturday December 15, 2018

Divine Anticipation - Well before Thanksgiving, and even before Halloween, a local store had filled their display with Christmas decor. Every year, there seems to be a headlong rush into Christmas that plows right through Advent. This seems to be an all too familiar pattern. Why wait for Christmas when we can have it right now? After all we live in a world obsessed with instant gratification. But something is lost in a jump straight to Christmas.

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Advent - Friday, December 14th

By Frances Smith - Friday December 14, 2018

When it comes to the month of December, a lot of people think about what gifts they are going to buy people. Also others think about Santa Claus and the story of Rudolph. But really the month of December should be about Advent, which leads us up to Jesus’ birth. Advent comes from the latin word adventus which means, “coming” or preparing for something. In the Christian viewpoint, Mary and Joseph were waiting for Jesus’ coming into the world, in which we celebrate his birth on the 25th of December which is Christmas. An angel appeared to Mary and told her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

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