Thursday, December 10, 2009

Advent: Thursday, December 10, 2009

Old Testament Lesson

Amos 9:1-10

Even here, in this passage full of judgment, in this passage full of the Lord's anger with His people, there is a moment of grace. The Lord is saying how He will destroy the people, destroy the sinful nation, destroy all those that have stood in opposition to Him and to His will. But, the House of Jacob (His people), He will not destroy completely. Even through they deserve it. Even though they should receive it. Even this it is fully within His rights and power. He will not. Because they are His. And even at this moment full of judgement and anger, His love for His people is greater than everything. That's the amount of love God has for His people, and for us.

New Testament Lesson

Revelation 2:8-17

In the letters to the seven churches at the start of the book of Revelation, there is a constant refrain. You will be tested. You have been tested. Tests will come. It won't always be easy. There will be very hard times. But, God is with you. God will not leave you. Even in the tests, God is there. And to those that over come, through the power and strength of God, there is a great reward. There is a crown, there is life, there is all this an more.

So, when your test of faith come today, don't give up, don't be discouraged. You are not the first to be tested, and you won't be the last. And above all, God is there. Even in the tests. God is there.

Gospel Lesson

Matthew 23:13-26

These are part of what's called "The Seven Woes," Jesus' harshest condemnation of the Pharisees. He really hammers them. Really takes them to task. Why? They are more focused on the letter of the law than the heart of the law. They are more focus on the acts of religion than the heart of religion. They are more focused on legalism than helping others. They are more focused on appearing religious than having a heart for others. Remember, our faith is something that starts on the inside, but that then calls us to serve one another, and God. Our faith calls us to love God, and seek justice, love, mercy, all these things. Let's be faithful to the one that died for us. And let's leave all the rest in His hands.

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