Category Archives: Advent

The Man and The Woman

Blake Adam and Eve

All was well with the world, the whole wide world.  Beautiful, productive, everything with its place and order.  Everything worked and it worked well.

But then, well, somehow that wasn’t enough.  We thought we knew better than God.  There was only one thing that was forbidden.  But oh how good it looked, and imagine the possibilities.  If it’s not good for us, how delicious it must be, how exciting it is.  Just one go – can’t hurt can it?

SO he said, she said, it said… the thought, the chance – go on, you know you want to.

So we did.

Big mistake.

For then shame entered the world, and beautiful innocence left it.  In having just one bite, so much had been lost.  Hate and fear were born, suffering got a look in, weeds were sown, hard toil began…

What was once so beautiful was now not so beautiful, not so enjoyable – spoilt.

Now what are we going to do?

Lord there is so much I have got wrong
Things I have seen and wanted – and chased after,
bad choices I have made,
things that would have been better not done or said,
words and actions I should have done
but didn’t.

They pile up, and make an ugly mess.
But you are the one who can put things right,
You are the one who can restore me
change me
give me your strength and power.

I confess what I have got wrong
I bring it to you.
Sweep through me I pray
cleanse me,
dust me down.
Remake me
in your image

Genesis 3:8-19

Late in the afternoon a breeze began to blow, and the man and woman heard the Lord God walking in the garden. They were frightened and hid behind some trees.

The Trouble with Sin

The Lord called out to the man and asked, “Where are you?”

10 The man answered, “I was naked, and when I heard you walking through the garden, I was frightened and hid!”

11 “How did you know you were naked?” God asked. “Did you eat any fruit from that tree in the middle of the garden?”

12 “It was the woman you put here with me,” the man said. “She gave me some of the fruit, and I ate it.”

13 The Lord God then asked the woman, “What have you done?”

“The snake tricked me,” she answered. “And I ate some of that fruit.”

14 So the Lord God said to the snake:

“Because of what you have done,
you will be the only animal
    to suffer this curse—
For as long as you live,
you will crawl on your stomach
    and eat dirt.
15 You and this woman
    will hate each other;
your descendants and hers
    will always be enemies.
One of hers will strike you
    on the head,
and you will strike him
    on the heel.”

16 Then the Lord said to the woman,

“You will suffer terribly
    when you give birth.
But you will still desire
your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”

17 The Lord said to the man,

“You listened to your wife
and ate fruit from that tree.
And so, the ground
will be under a curse
because of what you did.
As long as you live,
you will have to struggle
to grow enough food.
18 Your food will be plants,
but the ground
will produce
thorns and thistles.
19 You will have to sweat
to earn a living;
you were made out of soil,
and you will once again
turn into soil.”

Taken from my 2015 book Voices Through Advent and Christmas available from Moorleys

Elizabeth- God’s Timing

Taken from my 2015 book Voices Through Advent and Christmas, available through Moorleys

Based on Luke 1: 24-25

So, there I am, suddenly find myself pregnant.  Zechariah had heard right all along!  This child growing in me.  God working in and through me.  Who knew!  God is good.  People will be able to see now what God has called me to.  They will see.  He wasn’t punishing me.  He was waiting for the right moment, his exact timing for what he needed to do.  He needed me and it has happened.

Thank you Lord
for your timing,
right timing,
to work in me.

Help me not to push things along
by my agenda,
but to work with yours.

Give me patience,
grant me strength,
may I live in hope,
as I wait for you
and what you are going to do.

The Path of Hope

PICT1060
Flowers will bloom in the wastelands…

Isaiah 35:1-10

The Road of Holiness

35 The desert will rejoice,
and flowers will bloom in the wastelands.
The desert will sing and shout for joy;
it will be as beautiful as the Lebanon Mountains
and as fertile as the fields of Carmel and Sharon.
Everyone will see the Lord’s splendor,
see his greatness and power.

Give strength to hands that are tired
and to knees that tremble with weakness.
Tell everyone who is discouraged,
“Be strong and don’t be afraid!
God is coming to your rescue,
coming to punish your enemies.”

The blind will be able to see,
and the deaf will hear.
The lame will leap and dance,
and those who cannot speak will shout for joy.
Streams of water will flow through the desert;
    the burning sand will become a lake,
and dry land will be filled with springs.
Where jackals used to live,
marsh grass and reeds will grow.

There will be a highway there,
called “The Road of Holiness.”
No sinner will ever travel that road;
no fools will mislead those who follow it.
No lions will be there;
no fierce animals will pass that way.
Those whom the Lord has rescued
will travel home by that road.
10 They will reach Jerusalem with gladness,
singing and shouting for joy.
They will be happy forever,
forever free from sorrow and grief.

What a beautiful passage this is.  Full of hope and promise.

I found myself again this week longing for the strength to hands that are tired and to knees that are weak, and on a bad week, for every other joint screaming and screeching in pain and objection.

At this time of year so many are crying in exhaustion, in despair, in wondering how anything is going to happen.  People are struggling and juggling amongst, despite, or even because of the merriment. People are grieving – for all kinds of things.

And into that comes the Advent message of hope, of God, of his coming to set everything right, of a God of rescue.  The promise of a time when we will have the strength, when flowers will bloom in the wasteland, when wrongs will be righted and we will finally know freedom.

This is our hope.  This is God’s promise.  It is a journey God invites us on with him.

As I wait, as I journey, what am I doing to work with him?  To give strength to those who need it?  To help them carry their burdens? To support those in despair? To plant seeds in wastelands? To right wrongs? To liberate and free? As I long for God to do that in me, I can work with him to bring it about for others.

As I long for God’s hope and promise, what am I doing to enable it to come in my world today.

Come Lord,
bring peace, strength, freedom.
As I long in hope
fulfill your promises
in me
and through me

Amen