December 04, 2010

Selected Advent Readings, Week 1 OLD TESTAMENT: Isaiah 2:1-11 (NIV) "1 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
 2 In the last days
 the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. 3 Many peoples will come and say,
 “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. 
He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. 5 Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD. 6 You, LORD, have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and embrace pagan customs. 7 Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. 
Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. 
8 Their land is full of idols; 
they bow down to the work of their hands, 
to what their fingers have made. 
9 So people will be brought low 
and everyone humbled— 
 do not forgive them. 10 Go into the rocks, hide in the ground 
from the fearful presence of the LORD 
and the splendor of his majesty! 
11 The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled 
and human pride brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in...
Advent Reflections, Pt. 2: "Hoping For More Than Heaven" “Christianity is not only about getting one’s individual sins forgiven so we can go to heaven. That is an important means of God’s salvation, but not the final end or purpose of it. The purpose of Jesus’ coming is to put the whole world right, to renew and restore the creation, not to escape it.” -- Tim Keller in The Reason for God This past week, we gained a new reason to long for Christ's return. A dear friend died suddenly, and our friends are left without a husband and a father. As last week was the first week of Advent, it was a deep and painful a time to long for Christ's return and the restoration that He will bring. As we move into this second week of Advent, my heart, still heavy with this loss, is turning to think about hope. What is the Christian picture of hope? When a person you love dies, we immediately hear talk of heaven. Certainly those who are in Christ go to heaven when they die. But is that it? People like to say that "heaven is our home", but if that's the case then why did God make earth? Why did He make Adam and Eve and place them on earth to reign over it? Both of those things occurred before the Fall. Moreover, after the Fall, God had the perfect opportunity to destroy the earth and start over. In Genesis 9, sin has reached a boiling point and the effects of sin have already begun to have devastating consequences. Yet God goes through great lengths to preserve His original creation, down to instructing Noah to get two of each animal. Is it possible that "new heavens and new earth" is renewed heavens and renewed earth? That would be closer to...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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