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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 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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December 22, 2012

2012 Advent Devotion- Saturday, December 22

Luke 1:39-48

Responses from both Elizabeth and Mary in this passage are spontaneous outpourings of spiritual emotion. Elizabeth bestows blessing upon Mary, declaring that the child within her is the Lord. Mary responds in passionate verse, expressing her humble and profound gratitude to God. It is no wonder that Mary’s ”Magnificat” has been set to music by so many composers.

In a musical, the purpose of a song stems from the character’s inability to express their feelings in anything less than the eloquence of song. Words have more power to communicate when set to music because there ...

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December 21, 2012

2012 Advent Devotion- Friday, December 21

Psalm 130

Waiting is hard. Ask any child anxiously awaiting the arrival of Christmas morning. Consider asking Mary what her long journey of waiting was like, nestling the world’s Savior in her womb while struggling to conceal her pregnancy from the scrutiny of public eye.

Crying “out of the depths,” the psalmist here is confronted with the task of waiting. So great is the author’s trust in the steadfast love and redemptive power of God that the author is filled with hopeful waiting; trusting expectancy is paramount to the season of Advent. A sure sign of Advent’s ...

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