Tag 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 – Unexpected News

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

Based on Luke 1:5-15

Well, Zechariah came home with a right tale today.

Well, I say that.  It would have been if he could have got it out, but for some reason he was having trouble speaking.  Oh men that go to the back of their caves when they’ve got something on their mind.  But what a tale it was.

Apparently (ahem), he’d seen an angel.  He was the Priest on duty, the one chosen to go into the Temple, and there it had happened.

Goodness knows Zechariah and I have not had the easiest life.  Our longing for children has never been satisfied.  We’ve tried everything and it’s just not happened, obviously not meant to be – though I don’t know what we’ve done to deserve such a curse.  And now it’s never going to happen.  I’m way past that now.

Except, that was the message Zechariah had got from this angel.  There will be a child, a boy.

For some reason we are to call him John, though there’s no John’s in the family.  Still if God’s going to do something this amazing, I guess we can let him name the baby too.  Because this is going to be no ordinary baby, he’s got something important to do for God.

I suppose all I can do is let God do what he needs to in and through me and the child I will carry.  Still can’t quite believe it.  Can’t get my head around it.  How will I cope with what God is asking of me?  I guess God only knows.

God of surprises and impossibilities,
may I be open to all you seek to do
in and through me.

May I hear your voice,
your call,
your challenge
and respond with my life. 

 https://youtu.be/4YPr0AD5MhQ

Working #advent

Wurzach Pfarrkirche Decke Westteil

This is how I will build,
how I will work,
with God at my side,
working together
in his task.
He promised to be with us
and he is,
no work we do
in building for him
is done alone.

What he is building
is so much better
than anything that has gone before –
that is what he is inviting us to join.

Lord,
I want to work,
to build,
to grow
with you

 The theme of the first week in Advent is The Day of the Lord.  We look forward to the coming of that day.

Haggai 1:15-2:9 (CEV)

15 And the work began on the twenty-fourth day of that same month.

The Glorious New Temple

1-2 On the twenty-first day of the next month, the Lord told Haggai the prophet to speak this message to Governor Zerubbabel, High Priest Joshua, and everyone else:

Does anyone remember how glorious this temple used to be? Now it looks like nothing. But cheer up! Because I, the Lord All-Powerful, will be here to help you with the work, just as I promised your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt. Don’t worry. My Spirit is right here with you.

Soon I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake the nations, and their treasures will be brought here. Then the brightness of my glory will fill this temple. All silver and gold belong to me, and I promise that this new temple will be more glorious than the first one. I will also bless this city with peace.

God is Working His Purpose Out