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Frustrated gardeners and farmers of the world, unite! By late November, even the fall greens are looking pretty brown, but we can’t risk our emotional health by pulling out the seed catalogs just yet. It is fallow time. We cover the soil with compost and mulch and leave it there,...
God of hope, when we are in darkness, remind us that you and life exist here too. Amen.
The Old Testament roots of Advent hope are cast in royal imagery. The psalm marks the king as one whose work is to bring justice to the weak. The new king makes a new world possible. The Gospel reading is both invitation and warn- ing that we must make concrete decisions to reorder our life in ways appropriate to God’s new intention. Characteristically Paul makes the grand, sweeping claim: The new behavior appropriate to God’s new governance is that the strong and the weak, the haves and have-nots, relate to each other in new faithfulness. Advent is spent pondering speci c decisions about bringing our daily life into sync with God’s rule.
• Read Isaiah 11:1-10. When do you allow yourself “fallow” time? How does that time of “resting” nurture your fruitful- ness?
• Read Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19. This prayer for the king expresses the qualities that the people desire in a leader. What would you add to the list?
• Read Romans 15:4-13. Paul notes that Christ welcomed you for the glory of God. Consider the last several months: Whom have you welcomed for the glory of God?
• Read Matthew 3:1-12. What is growing in your heart’s wil- derness this Advent season?
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The worship, preaching, and teaching for The Upper Room’s RESILIENCE conference was among the best I have ever experienced. The event was extremely well organized and went so smoothly. The Upper Room continues to make so much impact on people around the world.”