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Swords into plowshares

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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.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with category: Advent

December 6, 2015

16 Days of Activism - Day 12: Advent Reflection

by Robert Arrington

Today on the second Sunday of Advent, we consider the prophecy spoken by Zechariah in Luke 1:68-79:

 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, 
and has remembered his holy ...

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December 1, 2015

An invitation to "Choose Welcome"

reprinted from the blog of the Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

I can count on one hand the number of times I have spent Christmas in my own home as an adult. We have shared that day with grandparents and other family. In a pre-Amazon era, we hid presents among the luggage and spent those days on the road just like Joseph and Mary. But of course I knew that my bed was there to welcome me when it was all over.saint mark presbyterian church holding a sign saying we choose welcome

Right now the United Nations says there are more than 60 million people displaced ...

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December 25, 2012

2012 Advent Devotion- Tuesday, December 25

1 John 4:16

As far back as I can remember I have always questioned the motives of why things happen in a certain way. Events in our lives are woven together to form a mysterious path that only God understands. Nativity sparks interest in our hearts because we think about what God’s plans were with the gift of an only child, given as a gift of grace.

Every time we honor Jesus’ name during this period of Advent, we honor love. In a world where materialism, consumerism, and individualism have become our focus, God’s everlasting love challenges ...

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December 24, 2012

2012 Advent Devotion- Monday, December 24

Isaiah 35:1-10

This is the season of hope and celebration! As we prepare for Christmas and are surrounded by friends and family, it is easy to be joyful and refreshed like the parched desert and the blossoming crocus. Jesus Christ is to be born tomorrow, and this will strengthen, comfort, heal, and provide for us! Praise the Lord!

As the season comes to an end, family and friends will go back to work, decorations will go back in boxes, and the pace of everyday life will return. Does this mean we have to wait until Easter or next Christmas ...

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December 23, 2012

2012 Advent Devotion- Sunday, December 23

Luke 1:57-66

This passage is about a cosmic connection in Christ in which Zechariah could not speak until his actions said, “Yes, I trust you Lord.” Elizabeth called Mary blessed because Mary said, “Yes, I trust you Lord.” Neither Elizabeth nor Zechariah fret, fuss, nor worry about the name of their son. How often do we feel that if we don’t fret, fuss, and worry, whatever we want will not work out for the best?

In this call to service we have to remember the amazing account of God’s faithfulness. Our call is simply to just say ...

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