5th January 2020

Three Beginnings

“In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.”
Isaiah 2:1-2 (NIV UK)

My wife and I had the opportunity to stay at Lake Louise in Banff National Park in Canada. It’s difficult to capture the beauty of that place in words. The lake has glacier-fed water which gives it a brilliant turquoise colour. The alpine lake is surrounded by towering mountains and a stately chateau and it’s one of the most picturesque settings in all of Canada. The first morning we were there, the sun crested over one of the mountains lighting up the scene below. The mountain-layered snow and the alpine lake glistened, and all of it filled our hearts with the hope of a new and glorious day.

A new day brings a new beginning, and the hopefulness of wonder and adventure to follow. The season of Advent begins a new season in the Christian calendar. Advent literally means ‘coming’. This time of year we can reflect on a new day which is coming. The Old Testament text of Isaiah shares this coming of Jesus who brings hope, peace, joy, and love: “Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’…They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:3-5).

In this ancient text, the writer is telling the people that the Lord’s temple is coming and will be above everything else. That temple is Jesus. And though many churches have themes each week, Advent uses themes of hope, peace, joy, and love. We must remember that those things are not just verbs, or themes, but they have a name, and his name is Jesus. The focus of Advent is Jesus. He is the one who came, is coming, and has come to live in us. He is our hope; our prince of peace; our source of joy, and the God who is love.

So, as a new day is dawning, may you find hope. Peace. Joy. And love. Because he is already here, meeting you right where you are.

Almighty Father, may Jesus come! We eagerly await his promised return. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Anthony Mullins

About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Anthony Mullins is a GCI Elder and Lead Pastor of Grace Communion Hickory in North Carolina. He is also Regional Director of the Southeast Region in the United States as well as the National Coordinator of the Intern, Pastoral Resident, The Orchard and Coaching Programmes for Grace Communion International. Anthony and his wife, Elizabeth live in Hickory, North Carolina.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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