Tag Archives: Advent

The Meaning of Advent

firts-sunday-adventAdvent is that blessed time of the year when Christians try to persuade God that their Lenten ‘repentance’ ‘stuck’ and they really, really are ready for the Coming of Christ… and oh, if they could also get lots of awesome stuff for Christmas Santa, erm, they mean God, that would be super.

Happy Advent 2

firts-sunday-adventἘὰν ταῖς γλώσσαις τῶν ἀνθρώπων λαλῶ καὶ τῶν ἀγγέλων, ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω, γέγονα χαλκὸς ἠχῶν ἢ κύμβαλον ἀλαλάζον. καὶ ἐὰν ἔχω προφητείαν καὶ εἰδῶ τὰ μυστήρια πάντα καὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γνῶσιν καὶ ἐὰν ἔχω πᾶσαν τὴν πίστιν ὥστε ὄρη μεθιστάναι, ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω, οὐθέν εἰμι. κἂν ψωμίσω πάντα τὰ ὑπάρχοντά μου καὶ ἐὰν παραδῶ τὸ σῶμά μου ἵνα καυχήσωμαι, ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω, οὐδὲν ὠφελοῦμαι. Ἡ ἀγάπη μακροθυμεῖ, χρηστεύεται ἡ ἀγάπη, οὐ ζηλοῖ, [ἡ ἀγάπη] οὐ περπερεύεται, οὐ φυσιοῦται, οὐκ ἀσχημονεῖ, οὐ ζητεῖ τὰ ἑαυτῆς, οὐ παροξύνεται, οὐ λογίζεται τὸ κακόν, οὐ χαίρει ἐπὶ τῇ ἀδικίᾳ, συγχαίρει δὲ τῇ ἀληθείᾳ· πάντα στέγει, πάντα πιστεύει, πάντα ἐλπίζει, πάντα ὑπομένει. Ἡ ἀγάπη οὐδέποτε πίπτει· εἴτε δὲ προφητεῖαι, καταργηθήσονται· εἴτε γλῶσσαι, παύσονται· εἴτε γνῶσις, καταργηθήσεται. ἐκ μέρους γὰρ γινώσκομεν καὶ ἐκ μέρους προφητεύομεν· ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ τὸ τέλειον, τὸ ἐκ μέρους καταργηθήσεται. ὅτε ἤμην νήπιος, ἐλάλουν ὡς νήπιος, ἐφρόνουν ὡς νήπιος, ἐλογιζόμην ὡς νήπιος· ὅτε γέγονα ἀνήρ, κατήργηκα τὰ τοῦ νηπίου. βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾽ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον· ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην. Νυνὶ δὲ μένει πίστις, ἐλπίς, ἀγάπη, τὰ τρία ταῦτα· μείζων δὲ τούτων ἡ ἀγάπη. (1 Co 13:1-13)

The University of Munich and its Advent Calendar

Check it out here.  Simply click on the Day of December (the first, the second, the third, etc.) for Advent inspiration for that day.  And enjoy!

Hier ist der Adventskalender der Fachschaft Evang. Theologie

24 Autoren, Studenten, Dozenten und Professoren bunt gemischt, haben je eins der 24 Türchen befüllt. Jeden Tag im Advent gibt es eine neue Überraschung. Auch die Themen sind bunt gemischt.  Es geht natürlich immer irgendwie um Advent und das Türchen mit der jeweiligen Nummer… wir würden euch gern mehr verraten, aber dann wäre es ja keine Überraschung mehr.  Viel Spaß mit dem Adventskalender wünschen euch

On this Monday of Advent…

https://i0.wp.com/www.stgilesaintree.org.uk/images/module1/Advent_wreath_06.JPG“While kings of the earth lord it over their subjects, the divine King joined our ranks; while earthly monarchs demand subservience, God’s Son became a slave; while the rulers of this age attempt to defy mortality, the ruler of the heavens took on human flesh. The sceptre of Advent was a rod of affliction.” — Dr Justin K. Hardin, Tutor in New Testament*

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*2012 Advent Devotional, Wycliff Hall, Oxford.  You can download the Advent Devotional, for free, here.  It has entries not just for the Sunday’s of Advent but for each day.  And it’s fantastic.

When the Prince of Peace Comes…

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.  Or, as the Common English Bible has it- ‘Then they will beat their swords into iron plows and their spears into pruning tools.’

I like very much what Keil has to say about this saying from Isaiah 2:4-

Since the nations betake themselves in this manner as pupils to the God of revelation and the word of His revelation, He becomes the supreme judge and umpire among them. If any dispute arise, it is no longer settled by the compulsory force of war, but by the word of God, to which all bow with willing submission.

With such power as this in the peace-sustaining word of God (Zec 9:10), there is no more need for weapons of iron: they are turned into the instruments of peaceful employment, into ittim (probably a synonym for ethim in 1Sa 13:21), plough-knives or coulters, which cut the furrows for the ploughshare to turn up and mazmeroth, bills or pruning-hooks, with which vines are pruned to increase their fruit-bearing power. There is also no more need for military practice, for there is no use in exercising one’s self in what cannot be applied. It is useless, and men dislike it.

There is peace, not an armed peace, but a full, true, God-given and blessed peace.

It is in war that the power of the beast culminates in the history of the world. This beast will then be destroyed. The true humanity which sin has choked up will gain the mastery, and the world’s history will keep Sabbath. And may we not indulge the hope, on the ground of such prophetic words as these, that the history of the world will not terminate without having kept a Sabbath? Shall we correct Isaiah, according to Quenstedt, lest we should become chiliasts?

“The humanitarian ideas of Christendom,” says a thoughtful Jewish scholar, “have their roots in the Pentateuch, and more especially in Deuteronomy. But in the prophets, particularly in Isaiah, they reach a height which will probably not be attained and fully realized by the modern world for centuries to come.”

Yet they will be realized. What the prophetic words appropriated by Isaiah here affirm, is a moral postulate, the goal of sacred history, the predicted counsel of God.

Sometimes the ‘oldies’ really are the good ones. And I don’t know about you, but the cessation of all conflict would be very welcome.

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The First Sunday of Advent: Hope

Today marks the first Sunday of the Advent season, the 4 Sunday’s prior to Christmas.  In these four weeks Christians prepare themselves for the coming of the Redeemer and, in order, consider Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace- all which God alone can grant.

Advent, unlike Lent, is worthy of all Christian’s observance.  Lent manifests a heretical belief that merit can be earned, whilst Advent stresses the Grace of God as our only source of good.

Have a fine Advent One.

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