SSB Gathering – November 29, 2015

Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

 by Kathi

multnomah falls

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Today marks the first Sunday of Advent. These are some of the readings found in The Common Book of Prayer for year two. If you are looking for daily readings or devotions for the Advent season, Christian Resource Institute is a good place to start.

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Psalm 146

Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them – the Lord, who remains faithful forever.

He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the Lord.

I Thessalonians 5: 1-11

Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Luke 21: 5-19

Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”

“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

He replied, “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witness to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.”

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May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

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Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

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photo credit: Brian – Multnomah Falls, Oregon

9 comments on “SSB Gathering – November 29, 2015

  1. Sorry this was late getting up. I thought I had it scheduled, but apparently I missed that. That’s happened to me a few times.

    I thought it would be interesting to follow along with the readings for the Advent season that are used in the Book of Common Prayer. This book is mostly used by the Anglican community, but since it has gone through revision, there are many other churches that follow it as well.

    I admit that I did struggle with some of the readings. I omitted the Old Testament passage because it was tied to death and destruction of cities. I find that harder to read the older I get.

    If anyone would like to read the other passages scheduled for today, they are:

    Morning: Psalm 147, Amos 1:1-5, 13-2:8
    Evening: Psalm 111, 112, 113

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  2. No prob, Kathi 🙂 Great idea to use the Advent readings. I see my favorite and familiar waterfall. It’s so gorgeous! Looking forward to hearing the music you selected.

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  3. In this sweet season of remembrance, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:15-16

    We are a blessed people, and my prayer is that in these trying days those around us will see God’s peace alive in us and be drawn to Him, Emmanuel – God with us.

    (I must say at the Charlie Brown medley video is one of the sweetest I have ever seen. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!)

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  4. FYI – The first two songs were selected off of the Advent song list for week 1. The Charlie Brown medley ws a fun choice because it made me smile. 🙂

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  5. I find this to be a frustrating time of year because I’m single and my family is disfunctional. I also tire of the expectations people have. They can’t understand why I don’t run to the same excess of frantic preparation like they do. I give to the poor rather than my rich friends and I enjoy being alone with my darling rabbit, Deborah. Seems to me that Christians give Christ only an hour of their time on Christmas Evening and consider their duty to be done. They can’t understand that I’m one of those folks who esteems all days alike.

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  6. Thanks for the welcome. I take seriously what Jesus said about holding banquets for rich folks vs. the poor. I also praise the Lord that I have money to give to help those in desperate physical and spiritual need. May the Lord make my donated dollars have more sense.

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  7. Bruce… Your comment about your ‘darling Deborah’ made me smile. This time of year all my rich family love to barter (“give”) gifts and we cheapos give jam haha. Can’t compete with designer handbags so everyone gets jam. Haha grouch am I!

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  8. I’m glad you liked my comment about my beloved bunny, Deborah. She’s the perfect companion for a loner who enjoys quietude.

    It’s sad that people spoil the birth of Christ with over-much preparation. Imagine how much more restful December 25th would be if it wasn’t for all the hustle and bustle which precedes it. It would be easier on poor folks who can’t afford all that goes with the festive season.

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