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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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Posts with tag: advent

December 11, 2012

Advent/Christmas service from Bethlehem and Washingon

O Little Town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie;
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.

A Simultaneous Service from
Washington National Cathedral
and
The Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church
In Bethlehem, Palestine

Saturday, December 22, 2012
10:00 AM EST in Washington, DC
5:00 PM in Bethlehem
Join live on-line

Wherever you are in the world, you are invited to come to Bethlehem to worship Christ, the newborn King!   The service will be broadcast live at 10:00 AM EST at the National Cathedral's website, so that people everywhere can tune in ...

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December 29, 2011

Sharing hopes

Hug-a-Planet with hopes on Post-it-NotesEach Thursday, the community gathers for worship at the Church Center for the United Nations. Different groups take turns leading in proclamation and prayer.

On Thursday, December 14, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations had the privilege to provide leadership. The service focused on inviting participants to share their hopes for the world during Advent.

Peng Leong (who took the accompanying picture), Ricky Velez-Negron, and Ryan Smith led the service.

The question posed that day remains, as a follower of Jesus Christ - what are your hopes for the world and its people?

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December 12, 2011

Worship in Bethlehem - Saturday, December 17

From the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land:

This Saturday, December 17, 2011, you are invited to join with worshippers in Bethlehem, Washington, D.C., and around the world for the fifth annual joint simulcast Christmas service. 

Prayers, readings, and hymns alternate between Washington, D.C., and Palestine via the Internet, drawing together people of different lands, languages, and ethnic backgrounds in celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. 



To widen the congregation, the service is also webcast live from the home page of the National Cathedral starting at 10 AM EST on Saturday, 17 ...

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December 24, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 24, 2010

Scripture - Luke 2:1–20 “And on earth peace, goodwill among people.” Luke 2:14 (NIV) As a child this phrase from Luke’s version of the Christmas story was one of my favorites. Each time I heard this ancient text read on...

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December 23, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 23, 2010

Scripture - Luke 1:57–66 “‘What then will this child become?’ For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.” (Luke 1:66) Mary and her cousin Elizabeth had miraculous pregnancies. As first-time mothers, both were joyous, though like most parents,...

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December 22, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 22, 2010

Scripture - Psalm 17 “Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.” (Psalm 17:1) When David said those words in the tenth century B.C., he was a man...

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December 21, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 21, 2010

Scripture - Luke 1:26–38 The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestine, marks the birthplace of Jesus. Pilgrims shuffle through the Byzantine church to wait their turn to enter the cave where Jesus was born. At Christmas we assemble Nativity...

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December 20, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 20, 2010

Scripture - Luke 1:5–25 When Luke undertook the task of writing “an orderly account” (v. 1) of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, he did not start with the birth of Jesus. Luke started the “Jesus story” with the...

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December 19, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 19, 2010

Scripture - Psalm 80:1–7, 17–19 Do you ever feel like it is hard to get God’s attention? Or difficult to figure out where God is? It was hard for the people reflected in Psalm 80 as well. Here they are,...

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December 18, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 18, 2010

Scripture - Isaiah 11:1–9 I love the imagery this Scripture contains. As I read this passage and reflected on the season and Guatemala, one particular phrase struck me: “a little child shall lead them.” For many in the world, it...

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December 17, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 17, 2010

Scripture - Psalm 130 and Matthew 11:2–15 This time of year finds the air buzzing with a fabricated and often frustrated excitement. Do you enjoy or endure the holidays? Do you seek something that seems altogether missing from the list...

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December 16, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 16, 2010

Scripture - Psalm 126 Reading Psalm 126 in the season of Advent helps us remember that life moves in cycles. There are seasons of happiness and seasons of sorrow, and throughout both of those times people cry out for God...

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December 15, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 15, 2010

Scripture - Luke 3:7–14 I was nineteen years old when I first encountered the reality of modern warfare. I was standing on the deck of a troop ship as it entered the harbor of Le Havre, France. As we threaded...

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December 14, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 14, 2010

Scripture - 2 Peter 1:12–21 The Advent season is a busy time. We often become so distracted by the bright lights, gifts, and festivities that we don’t stop to think about the real reason for the occasion—the birth of the...

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December 13, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 13, 2010

Scripture - Psalm 40 There is no greater challenge for the life of faith than seeking to be sure when one perceives God’s will. Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” gets it straight. Secular critics of religion often assume that...

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December 13, 2010

For the peace of Jerusalem

Send a Christmas card to President Obama. For the Peace of Jerusalem is a national Christian campaign for Israeli-Palestinian peace now. We are calling for valiant U.S. leadership in the peace process and we believe that this peace must be...

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December 12, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 12, 2010

Scripture - Luke 1:46–55 The stories of the birth of Jesus are witnesses of the many ways in which people can experience the transformative power of God’s presence in their lives. They also are echoes of the powerful hope this...

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December 11, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 11, 2010

Scripture - Matthew 24:1–14 Now We Wait Again Tune: Picardy Now we wait again, O Jesus, For your coming in our day; We are weary with our anguish, Unto you we humbly pray: Let your healing touch our sorrows, Lead...

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December 10, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 10, 2010

Scripture - Isaiah 7:10–25 In one of our conversations with the street dweller kids in Manila, we asked them to draw on a big paper plate the food they wanted to eat during Noche Buena (a traditional Filipino dinner on...

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December 9, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 9, 2010

Scripture - Luke 22:1–13 Why is one of the last chapters of Luke one of the first readings for Advent? Why is a story about preparations for the Last Supper at the beginning of our expectation for Christ’s birth? The...

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December 8, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 8, 2010

Scripture - Isaiah 6:1–13 Finding himself unemployed, Suriya spent three days in prayer, asking for God’s direction. Then, like Isaiah, he received a vision he didn’t expect and a mission for which he felt inadequate. Yet, like Isaiah, he ultimately...

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December 7, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 7, 2010

Scripture - 1 Thessalonians 5:12–28 I gained a greater appreciation for Mary during two Advent seasons when I was either on maternity leave or pregnant. Sleep deprivation and morning sickness made it easy to empathize with Mary. Although to us...

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December 6, 2010

Advent devotions in Spanish

Thanks to the Ministerio de Vida Abundante de la Iglesia Presbiteriana en Puerto Nuevo, San Juan de Puerto Rico for providing a Spanish translation of the Advent devotions on their blog.

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December 6, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 6, 2010

Scripture - Luke 21:20–28 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11 Luke paints a picture of the Son of Man returning in the midst of disturbances that are military, ecological, and astrological. This scene is in tension with the epistle lesson comparing the...

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December 5, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 5, 2010

Scripture - Romans 15:4–13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) There was a point in my...

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December 4, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 4, 2010

Scripture - Psalm 90 Advent leads home to Emmanuel (God-with-us). The birth of Jesus announced to shepherds, and the baptism of the Word made flesh by John in the muddy Jordan River among repentant throngs, show that God is with...

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December 3, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 3, 2010

Scripture - Psalm 102 “Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that people yet unborn may praise the LORD.” (Psalm 102:18) Many of us know some variation of the proverb “The true meaning of life is to...

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December 2, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 2, 2010

Scripture - 1 Thessalonians 3:1–13 “We sent Timothy . . . to strengthen and encourage you for the sake of your faith, so that no one would be shaken by these persecutions.” (1 Thessalonians 3:2–3) I remember reading Peacemaking: The...

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December 1, 2010

Advent Devotion - December 1, 2010

Scripture - Isaiah 2:1–4 Isaiah’s vision in the early chapters of his book is mostly of the punishment of Judah and Jerusalem. Judah is to be destroyed because the nation is corrupt; pride and wealth have distorted the nation God...

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November 30, 2010

Advent Devotion - November 30, 2010

Scripture - 1 Thessalonians 2:1–12 What a difference age makes! I used to read Thessalonians, or for that matter any of the apostle Paul’s letters, trying to learn what Paul meant and hoping that I could apply it to my...

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November 29, 2010

Advent Devotion - 29 de noviembre

The Ministerio de Vida Abundante de la Iglesia Presbiteriana en Puerto Nuevo, San Juan de Puerto Rico provides a Spanish translation of the November 29 Advent devotion on their blog. They will be posting the devotions daily.

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November 29, 2010

Advent Devotion - November 29, 2010

Scripture - Isaiah 1:10–20 “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” (Isaiah...

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November 28, 2010

Advent Devotion – November 28, 2010

Scripture - Romans 13:11–14 When through the 1990s my service in Presbyterian World Mission gave me the privilege of covering our church's relations with the Christian churches in Pakistan, I often found myself in Lahore on Christ the King Sunday....

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November 18, 2010

Join the webinar: Reclaiming Advent and Christmas

December 1 at 12:00 noon (Eastern time) Keep a sense of simplicity, wonder and reverence all season long. Join special guest Rev. Michael Mortvedt and staff of the Presbyterian Hunger Program in exploring ways to stay spiritually grounded through Advent...

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November 17, 2010

2010 Peacemaking Advent Devotion - order now

Order the 2010 Peacemaking Advent devotion from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace contains a daily devotion with each day featuring a different writer. Authors are individuals who have played a key role in the...

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September 7, 2010

Order 2010 Peacemaking Advent devotion

Order the 2010 Peacemaking Advent devotion from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace contains a daily devotion with each day featuring a different writer. Authors are individuals who have played a key role in the...

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June 26, 2010

2010 Advent Devotion book now availble

Order now! Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace: Advent Devotions 2010 is now available. This booklet, published by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, provides a devotion for each day of the Advent season. It is designed to help individuals, households,...

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December 25, 2009

Reflexion de Adviento - 25 de diciembre

Léase Juan 1: 1-14 "Y el Verbo se hizo carne y habitó entre nosotros". (Juan 1: 14a) Cuando comemos la cena de Navidad, nuestra familia se reúne alrededor de una gran mesa redonda de roble que ha estado en la...

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December 25, 2009

Advent devotion - December 25, 2009

Scripture - John 1: 1–14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14a) When we eat our Christmas meal, our family will gather around a big, round oak table that has been in the family since our...

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December 24, 2009

Reflexion de Adviento - 24 de diciembre

Léase Isaías 9:2-7 Un niño está por llegar. ¿Sabemos la maravilla de esas palabras? En medio de nuestro desierto, un niño esta por llegar, Y en sus manos puede sostener nuestros corazones, si se lo permitimos. En sus ojos podemos...

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December 24, 2009

Advent devotion - December 24, 2009

Scripture - Isaiah 9:2–7 A child is coming. Do we know the wonder in those words? In the midst of our wilderness a child is coming, and in his hands he can hold our hearts, if we allow it. In...

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December 23, 2009

Dreams for a just and lasting peace

Our friends in the Sudan Advocacy Action Forum pass on concerns from our sisters and brothers in Sudan encourage us to pray for a just and lasting peace for all the people of Sudan. Refugees International provide a brief video...

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December 23, 2009

Reflexion de Adviento - 23 de diciembre

Léase Jeremías 31:10-14 Mi familia llama el día de hoy "Víspera de la víspera de Navidad". Estamos tentadoramente cerca de la celebración. Hemos sentido la inminente llegada. ¡Estamos que reventamos por buscar una montaña en la cual gritarlo a los...

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December 23, 2009

Advent devotion - December 23, 2009

Scripture - Jeremiah 31:10–14 My family calls today “Christmas Eve Eve.” We’re tantalizingly close to the celebration. We sense the imminent arrival. We’re bursting to go find a mountain on which to tell it! But it’s not here yet. It’s...

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December 22, 2009

Reflexion de Adviento - 22 de diciembre

Léase Salmo 146 Y hace justicia a los oprimidos, Yahweh da alimento a los hambrientos. (Salmo 146: 7) Las palabras del salmista anticipar la proclamación de Jesús. Nosotros conocemos que Jesús es el Mesías, porque él personifica estas palabras que...

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December 22, 2009

Advent devotion - December 22, 2009

Scripture - Psalm 146 Happy is [the one] who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. (Psalm 146:7) The words of the psalmist anticipate the proclamation of Jesus. We will know Jesus is the Messiah because...

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December 21, 2009

Advent devotion - December 21, 2009

Scripture - Luke 1:39–56 It is a challenge to live richly into the anticipation that is Advent—to keep the frenzy and the Christmas rush at bay. Yesterday we celebrated the Fourth Sunday of Advent. The Christmas Eve service is only...

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December 20, 2009

Reflexion de Adviento - 20 de diciembre

Léase Lucas 1:46 - 55 No es de extrañar que Jesús llegó a ser algo así como un revolucionario. Escucha la canción que aprendió en las rodillas de su madre: "Mi alma engrandece al Señor, se alegra mi espíritu en...

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December 20, 2009

Advent devotion - December 20, 2009

Scripture - Luke 1:46–55 It’s no wonder Jesus grew up to be something of a revolutionary. Listen to the song he learned at his mother’s knee: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior ....

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December 19, 2009

Reflexion de Adviento - 19 de diciembre

Léase Lucas 1:1-25 Adviento es un tiempo jubiloso de anticipación. Estamos a la espera de la llegada de Cristo al igual que los futuros padres esperan con impaciencia la llegada de un bebé. Preparamos la casa, decoramos el cuarto del...

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December 19, 2009

Advent devotion - December 19, 2009

Scripture - Luke 1:1–25 Advent is a joyful time of anticipation. We await the arrival of the Christ just as prospective parents eagerly anticipate the arrival of a baby. We prepare the house; we decorate the room; we receive gifts....

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December 18, 2009

Reflexion de Adviento - 18 de diciembre

Léase Génesis 3:8-15 Adviento es la historia de la búsqueda de Dios por nosotros. Dios continúa preguntando, "¿Dónde estás?"Génesis 3 nos confronta con el proceso por el cual los seres humanos comenzaron a crear la separación. Los dos primeros capítulos...

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December 18, 2009

Reflexion de Adviento 17 de diciembre

Léase Salmo 18: 1-20 El Salmo 18 fue la canción de David de triunfo cuando Dios le libró del poder de sus enemigos. Después de que David le pidió ayuda, Dios en su omnipotencia estaba dispuesto a mover cielo y...

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December 18, 2009

Advent devotion - December 18, 2009

Scripture: Genesis 3:8–15 Advent is the story of God’s search for us. God continues to ask, “Where are you?” Genesis 3 confronts us with the process by which human beings began to create separation. The first two chapters of the...

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December 17, 2009

Advent devotion - December 17, 2009

Scripture - Psalm 18:1–20 Psalm 18 was David’s song of triumph when God delivered him from the power of his enemies. After David called on him for help, God in his omnipotence was willing to move heaven and earth to...

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December 16, 2009

Reflexion de Adviento - 16 de diciembre

Léase Salmo 50 En los días más despejados me resulta difícil establecer un equilibrio entre dos cosas a las que siento he sido llamado, trabajar activamente y con honestidad para cuidar de la creación de Dios, y sin reservas el...

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December 16, 2009

Advent devotion - December 16, 2009

Scripture - Psalm 50 On my bluer days I find it hard to balance two things to which I feel called—honestly and actively working to care for God’s creation, and unreservedly celebrating its beauty. It is hard not to temper...

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December 15, 2009

Reflexion de Adviento - 15 de diciembre

Léase Salmo 33 ¿Por quién es que espera el salmista? ¿A quién le esta cantando alabanzas este creyente? Este escritor alaba al Único, sí, el Único que es capaz de cumplir sus promesas y "en tiempos de escasez, no los...

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December 15, 2009

Advent devotion - December 15, 2009

Scripture - Psalm 33 Who is it the psalmist awaits? To whom is this believer singing praises? This writer praises the one, yes, the only one who is able to deliver on his promises and “redeem the people from death...

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December 15, 2009

Spanish translations of Advent devotions

Jose Rosa-Rivera of the Ministerio Vida Abundante de la Iglesia Presbiteriana en Puerto Nuevo, San Juan Puerto Rico has provided Spanish translations [PDF] of the Advent devotions. The current file contains Spanish translations [PDF] from November 29 through December 14....

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December 14, 2009

Advent devotion - December 14, 2009

Scripture - Psalm 122 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” (Psalm 122:6) Psalm 122 recorded the reflections of pilgrims visiting Jerusalem. They reveled in Jerusalem’s past glories, rejoiced in unity and security, and expressed hope for peace and prosperity. These...

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December 13, 2009

Advent devotion - December 13, 2009

Scripture: Zephaniah 3:14–20 “On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice...

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December 12, 2009

Advent devotion - December 12, 2009

Scripture: Haggai 2:1–9 All of us hit a point in our lives when we feel like we have hit rock bottom. Nothing seems to be going right. Compared to the way things were in the past, everything is now a...

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December 11, 2009

Advent devotion - December 11, 2009

Scripture: Haggai 1 In many ways, we are living the days of which Haggai speaks. Our economic and moral stability has been challenged, sending us into a survival mode much like the situation faced by Israel, whom Haggai was addressing....

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December 10, 2009

Advent devotion - December 10, 2009

Scripture: Matthew 23:13–26 If you have ever played a game with a child who makes the rules as the game progresses, you know the child almost always wins. I certainly cannot speak for all situations, but when you create the...

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December 9, 2009

Advent devotion - December 9, 2009

Scripture: Matthew 23:1–12 “The greatest among you will be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11) According to the world around us, this is the season for shopping, spending, decorating, feasting, and wearing elaborately decorated sweaters. Parties and pageants, tinsel and trees, Santa...

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December 8, 2009

Advent devotion - December 8, 2009

Scripture: Psalm 33 “Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” (Psalm 33:21–22) Sometimes I question God. How did God,...

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December 7, 2009

Advent devotion - December 7, 2009

Scripture: Psalm 122 Peace within your walls, and security within your towers. (Psalm 122:7) Look at this passage through indigenous eyes. We walk everywhere—to our own little stores and to our neighbors’ and to far-off destinations. Our churches, built better...

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December 6, 2009

Advent devotion - December 6, 2009

Scripture: Luke 1:68–79 When I was young, I saw only a few Christian churches. Today, the number has increased dramatically. When I consider the aim of Christ’s coming and the purpose of the church, I imagine a world where people...

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December 5, 2009

All I Want for Christmas

When it comes to Christmas music, I confess that I jump the season. At least in my personal life. Professionally, when I am designing worship, I can maintain tight seasonal boundaries. Stores may decorate. Cards may arrive. Specials may air....

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December 5, 2009

Advent devotion - December 5, 2009

Scripture: Amos 5:18–27 Standing at my office window, I was startled to see the early morning sky fill with roiling storm clouds. Within minutes, torrential rain mixed with hail pelted the glass. Soon a manhole cover on the street below...

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December 4, 2009

Advent devotion - December 4, 2009

Scripture: Matthew 22:1–14 We all receive invitations throughout the year that request our presence at various functions. The gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s invitation for us to have a relationship with him. This invitation comes with the certainty of...

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December 3, 2009

Advent devotion - December 3, 2009

Scripture: Matthew 21:33–46 “Peace on earth,” we say in Advent, we say at Christmas, we say upon the birth of the One we call the Prince of Peace. “Peace on earth,” we say as a hope, a prayer, a longing...

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December 3, 2009

Send prayers to the people of Bethlehem for Christmas 2009

Pax Christi International invites us to send Christmas prayer greetings to the people of Bethlehem. Once again, Christmas celebrations will take place in a difficult climate for people in the Holy Land. As we prepare to celebrate Advent and Christmas...

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December 3, 2009

Speaking of Advent . . .

Consider engaging in Morning Prayer Presbyterian Style as a way to prepare during this Advent Season. Thanks to Lynn Shephard, pastor of Afton Presbyterian Church and Guilford Center Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley for sharing this idea,...

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December 2, 2009

Advent devotion - December 2, 2009

Scripture: Amos 3:12–4:5 It is easy to get caught up in the spirit of things as we enter Advent. We are called to wait upon the coming of the Lord, and yet we are expected to participate in the merriment...

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December 1, 2009

Advent devotion - December 1, 2009

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:7–19 “Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name.” (1 Peter 4:16) Between 1966 and 1976 China witnessed a Cultural Revolution. Many...

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November 30, 2009

Advent devotion - November 30, 2009

Scripture: Psalm 84 “Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.” (Psalm 84:5) The psalmist offers us a glimpse of the energy and grace that come to those who keep their hearts...

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November 29, 2009

Advent devotion - November 29, 2009

Scripture: Joel 2:21–27 Hope. Talk to the land. Console the animals. Tell them not to be afraid, because we will purge the locusts and start anew. The people of the Andes feel that the earth, Pachamama, is a living being,...

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November 14, 2009

Have you done your Thanksgiving shopping?

Give your friends a copy of Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace, a daily devotional booklet for Advent 2009. It makes a lovely Thanksgiving present! Peacemakers across the country and around God's world contributed to the booklet. Use Proclaiming...

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November 14, 2009

Faith leaders to Congress: Close Guantanamo

Join faith leaders. Call Congress to close Guantanamo. More than 40 senior leaders of major faith groups in the United States, including the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have signed a letter addressed to the leaders of the...

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November 9, 2009

Share your prayer for peace

Email your prayer for peace! Valley Presbyterian Church of Portola Valley. CA is creating a beautiful “Peace on Earth” banner that proclaims hope for peace in English, Arabic, and Hebrew. When complete, at the end of November, the banner will...

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October 23, 2009

Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace

Peacemakers from across the United States and around God's world contributed to Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace, a daily devotional booklet for Advent 2009. Using lectionary texts, the writers reflect on God's gift of peace and explore what...

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October 23, 2009

Stopping torture - an Advent resource

The National Religious Coalition Against Torture announces a new resource [PDF] for Christian clergy to use during Advent 2009. With sections for all four Sundays in Advent, as well as Christmas Eve, the new resource [PDF] provides commentary on the...

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November 28, 2008

Pray for the Little Town of Bethlehem . . .

. . . and the people of Israel and Palestine. As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Christmas, we are invited to pray for justice, peace and security for Palestine and Israel - and to send a prayer or...

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