Daily reading: Ezra 1:1-4, 3:1-4, 10-13
Wednesday December 16, 2015

Focus passage: They celebrated the Festival of Booths, as prescribed.  Every day they presented the number of entirely burned offerings required by ordinance for that day. Ezra 3:4

What makes Christmas holy and set apart is that we don’t celebrate it every day or every week.  We do it once a year and we find that we have these mixed emotions around the holidays, because they more concretely mark the passage of time.  Each year we go through some of the same motions, but maybe with additions to our families or in the absence of family members.  This year will be for some of us the first Christmas without someone significant in our life.  While there is joy in the season there is also weeping.

We sing the songs of the season every year.  And the singing and telling the story through our joined voices helps to mark the passing of time as well.  Joy to the World sounds different each year, depending on where we are spiritual, physically and mentally in that moment.

Prayer: Gracious God thank you.  Thank you for this day of life, thank that you have allowed us to wake up and draw a breath today.  We pray that you will grant us the wisdom and the boldness to live this day with courage and with commitment to the new world that you are at work bringing about in our very midst.  Give us Advent hearts; give us Advent hope, peace and joy.  Amen


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