Wednesday, February 8, 2017

For To Us - Advent Reading 4 - Joy

This is the forth advent reading that went along with the For Unto Us 2016 Christmas Prayer Loft at the Gathering House Covenant Church in Spokane Washington. 

by Margot Cioccio 

establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness
from that time on 
and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
All of heaven rejoiced as Jesus was born. His coming would heal the great breach between mankind and the Almighty. As the church we have really run with the message that He is Redeemer and Savior. If we look at the many names of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we start to realize they are so much more than we have begun to understand. Starting from the birth of Christ, from that time on and forever God has been establishing and up holding how we understand and relate to Him. Our God is multifaceted. What a joy it would be if we could help the world around us see God as a good father, a papa who’s love is displayed as strength, protection. Who wants to help us with our own family issues. Could we reflect his love as integrity in the power of Government and show a hurting world that he does care about them…all of them.  What if we could reflect God as communicator who wants to show his love as good news and blessing. Imagine the joy we would have as he brings world solutions through us, his children.  What if we could show God as teacher and show his wisdom as a form of his love?  He is provider and provision and resources can multiplied in and through us as we show the world the ways of kingdom economics. Everywhere we look we see God’s fingerprints, he has put great energy and detail into even the smallest flowers and things that we may not even notice. Could we show him as Creator who has fun creating. Stop and think about the amazing joy there is in actually being able to have a intimate relationship with the greatest creator and artist who has not yet run out of ideas and want to partner with each of us to do amazing things. Think about the joy there is in making him known and showing his love in all these areas and more. 

What if the only thing that holds back the great outpouring of his love in all of these ways is simply that have gotten so focused on the getting people saved and to heaven and getting there our selves that we forgot to be salt and light. We have become so focused on the problems of our world that we forgot to show them our creative solutions and the amazing love and kindness of God .Every generation since Jesus was taken to heaven has thought He would return in their time. Too often we have sat on our hill tops inside our churches trying really hard to be holy while the whole world groaned and ached for the light of God to come to them. Jesus said don’t hide your light under a basket. Put it up on a stand and let it shine brightly.

Acts 3:21-23 in theThe Message it says “Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you, and send you the Messiah he prepared for you, namely, Jesus. For the time being he must remain out of sight in heaven until everything is restored to order again just the way God, through the preaching of his holy prophets of old, said it would be.

What if Jesus is held out of sight in heaven until we through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, work to bring about the restoration of all things to his order. Jesus said we would do greater things than he did because he was in heaven and had sent us the Holy Spirit. What if he's not the one asleep in the boat this time. What if we are the one’s who are asleep to his calling and purposes for our lives. What if we are here to make a difference?
Gods kingdom is advanced by influence and example not by forcing others to do it our way. It is how we live among others that gives us a platform to speak into their lives. There is great joy when things are done God’s way. When the righteous prosper the city rejoices.  

We have painted the town red like his blood but there are so many more colors of his love that we have yet to really discover and reveal with joy to the world.

Jesus is a living gift. He is waiting for us to unwrap more of the mystery of who he is in each of us. What does his rainbow of love look like as it comes out of you and spills into the things you are passionate about.  Joy is our advent candle today.  - Joy to the world - the Lord is come…Let every heart prepare him room. Let every heart rejoice. Let heaven and nature sing! 

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