Advent Hope #4: Be Alert

Today I saw a posting on FB from a Dollywood employee in TN. The wildfire had touched the entertainment park, but it was not destroyed it, so they were cleaning up. He described finding a ripped, burned page of a Bible under a bench. The verses of Joel were not all legible, but the ones that were made references to fires and the day of the LORD being at hand.
 
I began to ponder – – – again. Pondering can be a good thing; it can also be a real faith knocker. The pondering, skeptical mind rationalizes this worker. Did he truly “find” it? Is he an internet glory seeker? Even that random thought – what’s on the other side of that page? (If it is like my study bible, there are just notes about Joel and the times in which he lived.)
 
I get frustrated with myself when I let world views intrude on things that I just want to get excited about. However, it was when I was reading Max Lucado’s Because of Christmas devotional guide, that the pondering stopped and faith took over.
 
“Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.”~Mk 13:33
 
Mary was an exceptional person of faith. Scripture tells us that after she got over the idea of standing in the presence of an angel, she accepted the words immediately into her whole self. Her Magnificat when she greets her cousin Elizabeth has always been one of my favorite parts of the Bible.
 
Joseph on the other hand was – perhaps a lot like me – a kind-hearted, person- – – but – – – not so full of faith. He couldn’t just take the word of his espoused wife, but he didn’t want any harm to come to her, so he planned to divorce her quietly (Matt 1:19). So BAM – angel returns – speaks his message, and Joseph and Mary are off to Bethlehem.
 
Which I guess brings me to the whole pondering bit again. Just think how many people didn’t listen to the prophets or the angels or the signs in the heavens? They were reasonable people. Educated people. People who went to Temple and sacrificed regularly. Worked to make their community better. Loved their neighbors as themselves. And really? Talk about the Messiah had been going on since the times of Genesis (3:15). So why here? Why this couple? Why now?
 
Which brings me back to that earlier post that set all this pondering into motion today. Why not here? Why not Issac McCord? Why not now? God has sent messages in many different ways to His people over the centuries. Rabbi Yeshua said, “Be on guard! Be alert!” “…if you have faith as small as a mustard seed…”
 
Believe me, tonight I am praying on building my faith a little more. To be more alert and on guard – to listen with spiritual ears and see with spiritual eyes. We are in the season of celebrating Christ’s first advent into our world – but we are living in the days of his second advent onto Terra – whether it is tomorrow – a week – a month – a year – or decades from now. We merely have to get dressed for the wedding and wait. Geez – faith journeys are really not very easy, but I’m trying in this Advent of Hope. #perhapstomorrow [google images]

BTW – Today’s art work is by an Israeli man, Yoram Raanan, whose art studio was destroyed by one of the wildfires last week in Israel. It seemed appropriate to use it in so many ways.  

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