Tag Archives: Beginnings and Endings

Another Way #adventbookclub – Day 37

12 Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.

The Escape to Egypt

13 After the wise men had gone, an angel from the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Hurry and take the child and his mother to Egypt! Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is looking for the child and wants to kill him.”

14 That night, Joseph got up and took his wife and the child to Egypt, 15 where they stayed until Herod died. So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “I called my son out of Egypt.”

The Return from Egypt

19 After King Herod died, an angel from the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph while he was still in Egypt. 20 The angel said, “Get up and take the child and his mother back to Israel. The people who wanted to kill him are now dead.”

21 Joseph got up and left with them for Israel. 22 But when he heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was now ruler of Judea, he was afraid to go there. Then in a dream he was told to go to Galilee, 23 and they went to live there in the town of Nazareth. So the Lord’s promise came true, just as the prophet had said, “He will be called a Nazarene.”

The visitors from the East had to return a different way.  The journey they had planned was not to be.

Joseph had to take his family to a different place than he intended.  He could not return to his home – at least not yet.

There journeys were not what they expected.

We’ve all had unexpected journeys.  One’s we weren’t expecting to make, ones that didn’t quite go to plan.  I suspect many of us could write a whole book about them!  They are usually incredibly stressful, not what we had planned.  But as I mentioned at the start, our eldest son’s philosophy is that that is all part of the fun.  Each delay is an opportunity, especially if it demands a detour to get to where you were going – or perhaps to end up somewhere else altogether.  (Personally, I can do without that kind of excitement when trying to get somewhere – maybe I have something to learn)

As we come to the end of this #adventbookclub, and Maggi’s excellent book, how has our journey been?  Has it taken us where we expected?  Or have we learned new things, had different experiences?  Heard God tell us things we never imagined?

And what about the journey onwards from here?  For the end of the book is the beginning of the rest of our journey.  And as Maggi reminds us (p166), we can never go back once we have encountered Jesus.

Where will we go?  What will God show us?  Where will he take us?

Are we ready to hear and to follow?

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O Jesus I have Promised

Thank you to everyone who has shared this journey, brought new insights, suggested different paths, shone the light so we could see the way ahead.  And especially thanks to Maggi for writing the book.

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

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Searching #adventbookclub – Day 36

The Wise Men

When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and said, “Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?”

They told him, “He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote,

’Bethlehem in the land
    of Judea,
you are very important
    among the towns of Judea.
From your town
    will come a leader,
who will be like a shepherd
    for my people Israel.’”

Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. He told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too.”

We have come from afar,
searching,
looking for the one,
a child,
yet the one who is King.

We’ve seen the signs,
followed the lead,
come to see,
come to worship.

We’re searching.
What ,
who,
the one we are looking for,
he’s worth this journey,
hard and long as it has been,
because he is what we are looking for.

We want to worship,
to bring him our praise,
our honour,
to offer our lives
and our gifts.

But there is another who is searching,
he claims he wants to worship too,
but I’m not sure…

Come and Join the Celebration

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

Borrowed Rooms #adventbookclub – Day 35

Luke 2:7 (CEV)

she gave birth to her first-born son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 22:7-13

Jesus Eats with His Disciples

The day had come for the Festival of Thin Bread, and it was time to kill the Passover lambs. So Jesus said to Peter and John, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us to eat.”

But they asked, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”

10 Jesus told them, “As you go into the city, you will meet a man carrying a jar of water. Follow him into the house 11 and say to the owner, ‘Our teacher wants to know where he can eat the Passover meal with his disciples.’ 12 The owner will take you upstairs and show you a large room ready for you to use. Prepare the meal there.”

13 Peter and John left. They found everything just as Jesus had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

A borrowed room suggestions having no place of your own.  Nowhere that is safe, or that ties you down.

Plenty today know the lack of security that not having a home of your own can bring.  The unease of never knowing when you might be evicted, or not able to pay the rent.  The landlord might suddenly decide not to have tenants any more or choose to go back on their word (maybe through no fault of their own).  Life without a permanent home is a risky business, with the very real possibility of constantly having to find a new place to live

Jesus was born in a borrowed room, and his final night on earth was a borrowed room too.  He had no place of his own, but he chose to use other people’s homes.

I think there is something powerful in allowing others to offer us hospitality.  To receive from them, to give them the chance to give.  Jesus was very good at that.  We hear of him going to many people’s houses.  He wasn’t stuck in one place, but was able to be with people, where they were and receive what they had to offer.

That continues today.  Jesus has no home on this earth.  He needs ours.  He needs our lives for his place to live and work.  He longs to come and dwell with us and in us, and to receive all we have to offer.

Will I allow him to not just borrow my life, but to have it, move into it, inhabit it?

Which brings me to one of my favourite hymns that ends in a prayer

Come Let Us Sing of a Wonderful Love

Come Lord, dwell with me, I pray

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.