Friday, December 9, 2016

Advent 2016

Advent has arrived. What a relief after the vitriol of November! Advent Calendars, Advent Hymns, Advent Wreaths - symbols of the season, the new year. Symbols are nice reminders, but what is the true state of my heart and mind? Do I have a heart of stone or a heart of flesh? Is my mind focused on Christ, looking to His return or is it focused on myself and things of this world?

My prayer is this:

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Instead of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle, my hope is to remain in the Word and in prayer, as Paul tells us in Philippians:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things - I want to live this way, focused on Him.

2017 is almost here, I look to it with hope, putting my faith in our Lord and His promises, not the govt. I pray the rancor subsides, I pray our love for the Lord and our neighbor increases, (Our neighbor is everybody!) I pray we die to self and live for Christ, and I pray we truly learn to forgive.

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

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