Friday before the First Sunday of Advent

Psalm 25:1-10, Nehemiah 9:16-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

“Make your ways known to me, Lord; teach me your paths.” (Psalm 25:4)

“You sent your good Spirit to instruct them…” (Nehemiah 9:20)

“…test all things. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)

Psalm 25 is viewed by many scholars as a solid instruction in the covenant . Many also view this as written by King David toward the end of his . If we take these two views , we can see a man who, though very flawed, pursued and did his best to understand , and who continued to seek guidance to know ’s plan and fulfill it ly.

Nehemiah reflects on the Israelite exodus from Egypt as part of his reflection upon the of the remnants of Israel from exile. Nehemiah acknowledges that never stopped trying to guide the Israelites from their bad habits taken from Egypt. Those that he leads after their exile have brought habits from Babylon that are not of .

writes to the Thessalonians, people who were deeply embedded in a culture that did not know . He s on them to bear the struggles they are currently going through and to not abandon the faith. Indeed, he s on them to live it even more deeply, ug the faith to filter the world around them and their lives.

Advent counts down until comes down. Advent is not just about a child in a manger; it is also about coming back at the end of the story. Christmas is about the never-ending that changes lives, n to us by someone who came and lived just like us.

When the culture around us counts down the days until Christmas, the culture is really counting down until the time when material things triumph. It is so easy to succumb to the pressures of fitting in. It is so easy to follow the habits and s of our culture, which drowns out the hope and light of with stuff, or shares light-hearted stories without the of the Universe whose love shines through. Often our biggest challenge during Christmas and Advent is for us to keep Christ in Christmas.

1) What family s do you have in this season?

2) How do you use those family s to bring in?

KD) What is your favorite family Christmas ? How do you see in it?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.