Advent: God With Us

Have you noticed that cakes just don’t appear out of thin air? Or that pumpkins don’t just create themselves? And although babies appear to suddenly pop out of nowhere, so much has been happening unseen and unnoticed for 9 months.
Cakes take time, planning, preparation and work. Pumpkins the same; a seed planted, watered, cultivated before the harvest is ready. And babies; well, enough said, really. 

It takes time, patience, work and attentiveness – small steps coming together – for good things to appear.

Are our spiritual lives any different? I reckon we miss so much of what is happening under the soil of our souls because we are so busy, living fast, in a hurry and incessantly looking for the quick fix and the shortcut to happiness and an easy life. There is another way…

Jesus said “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Could there be any more sublime, winsome and transforming words ever spoken in this world? And to prove he was willing to back up his promise, God came to us in person with this invitation! You can believe and have confidence in the invitation from Jesus to come to him, because he took the loving initiative to come to us. This is what the Season of Advent means: we remember afresh and enter into the mystery of the incarnation: God in human form – a baby!

Make some time, slow down and don’t miss what God is doing, wants to do and will do in your heart and your life as we celebrate again the birth of Jesus. You can’t rush beauty, truth and goodness…

Here are some wonderful Advent Resources for individuals and families to share in over December:​ 

  • Unwrapping Advent:
    A 4-Week Devotional by Margaret Feinberg: Celebrating the Wonder of Jesus’ Arrival Then and Now.
  • Reason for the Season
    24 Ready-Made Family Devotions that will put the focus back on Christ this Christmas.
  • Advent – the Village Church
    This guide contains five weeks of material, with both a study to complete on your own as well as a plan to help families talk about the Advent narrative together.

May the Lord Jesus come to you in a new and powerful way this Advent, bringing rest, healing and transformation.

In Jesus,

Nicholas

Bloom where you are planted

“I’ll never grow up to be a beautiful flower”, said the seed to the soil.

“Why is that?”, asked the soil with concern.

“Because there is so much stacked against me, I can’t do it. There’s a ton of concrete and bricks above me for miles; it’s so unfair!”

The soil thought for a while and said to the seed, “I have an idea. I will support you and hold you, but I need you to send your roots downward, and look up to the tiny shaft of light between the concrete and the bricks. And then make a run for it and don’t stop!”

“But I’ll never make it, it’s too dark and I might sink or get stuck!”, said the seed.

“Trust me”, replied the soil.

So the seed listened to the soil, started to send down some roots to create a solid base, and then looked up and started to reach for the tiny shaft of light. She was terrified! But all of a sudden she burst through into the full sunshine and then the miracle: the seed became a beautiful flower and bloomed where she was planted.

It is likely that you are facing difficulties, challenges, or disappointments in your life currently, or you are most likely to in the future. What is your foundation and what is your vision? For without something firm to stand upon and if you are lacking a vision for the future, you will attract both fear and despair.

In our world there are many false foundations made of sand and many visions made of smoke; ultimately they will sink and blow away. Jesus knew this and offered us a foundation and a vision for life that no one or nothing could ever shake: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise person who built their house on the rock…it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7

And what earthly vision could surpass this one: “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21

Make sure your foundation is Christ and your vision is the kingdom of God. Then come what may, you will bloom and you will overcome.

Nicholas Tuohy