The thought behind the photo:
This is the parking lot exit sign at Community United Methodist Church in DeBary. It reminds me that the mission field is all around me. I have the joy and privilege of joining Jesus in his saving work every day. – Lisa <><
As I have read the Gospels over the years, the belief has grown in me that Christ did not come to found an organized religion but came instead to found an unorganized one. He seems to have come to carry religion out of the temples into the fields and sheep pastures, onto the roadsides and the banks of the rivers, into the houses of sinners and publicans, into the town and the wilderness, toward the membership of all that is here. Well, you can read and see what you think. ― Wendell Barry, Jayber Crow
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 28:19-20 NRSV
Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The December 1, 2013 devotion from http://umrethinkchurch.tumblr.com
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 2:2-5 [The Message]
There’s a day coming when the mountain of God’s House Will be The Mountain – solid, towering over all mountains. All nations will river toward it, people from all over set out for it. They’ll say, “Come, let’s climb God’s Mountain, go to the House of the God of Jacob. He’ll show us the way he works so we can live the way we’re made.” Zion’s the source of the revelation. God’s Message comes from Jerusalem. He’ll settle things fairly between nations. He’ll make things right between many peoples. They’ll turn their swords into shovels, their spears into hoes. No more will nation fight nation; they won’t play war anymore. Come, family of Jacob, let’s live in the light of God.
Today marks the first day of Advent. A time in the church where we prepare…to wait. But by the beginning of Advent, we have already been prepped by commercials for that big thing we are waiting for: Christmas. The sales following Thanksgiving come earlier and earlier, and this year, some stores opened just hours after folks would probably be having their second slice of pumpkin pie.
A quick walk around the downtown storefronts and one wouldn’t have to use much imagination to be transported to a wintery wonderland in another time and place where visions of sugarplums dance in our heads.
In this passage from Isaiah, however, we are shown another time and place; another vision. A place that we don’t need commercials to prep us for. A place that we long for. A place where justice reigns and God’s house will be established. A place where implements of war and destruction become instruments for peace. A time and a place where the brokenness around us is transformed.
Seems impossible, doesn’t it, to envision this new reality? When is this day coming? The idea of checking off a Christmas shopping list sometimes seems the more attainable task.
But what if we journeyed toward that mountain together and started by saying that today was the day when we would start living and walking in this light of God?
Will you go?
Thank you Rethink Church for a great way to make preparing for Christmas more meaningful. Join me and thousands more in setting aside time to reflect, focus, and literally picture the deep themes of Jesus’ birth.
Click here for more information on Advent Photo-A-Day from Rethink Church.
Click here for a master list of links to my submissions. Lisa <><