Loss can be a heavy burden. Whether it is unexpected and sudden or slowly and inevitably irreversible, our minds move to the desire for restoration. Yet desiring restoration can sometimes feel like insulting torture added to the loss itself because restoration seems like a fantasy, a reversal of time or...
Sustaining God, free me from the burden of loss. Guide my heart toward the hope of restoration in you so that I may live toward the new day that you have promised me through Jesus Christ, our source of hope and the giver of life. Amen.
The readings from the Hebrew scriptures have a common theme: The people have sinned and turned away from God, and now they cry out for God to forgive them. Even though they have created the separation from God, the authors are confident that God will restore them. These images of longing for God are appropriate as we begin the season of Advent. Paul opens First Corinthians reminding the Christians in Corinth that they have been richly blessed by God with spiritual gifts to sustain and strengthen them as they wait for the coming of Christ. Again this week, the Gospel reading refers to the return of Christ, a day known only to God.
Read Isaiah 64:1-9. When have you treated God as a vending machine and held a grudge against God? What restored your faith or changed your perspective?Read Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19. When have you been frustrated by others’ praises of God’s blessings? When have you cried out to God, “Restore us”?Read 1 Corinthians 1:3-9. What spiritual gifts are you con- scious of having? What might your faith community look like if everyone employed their spiritual gifts?Read Mark 13:24-37. What is your job in the household of God? How do you stay alert?
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