SSB Gathering – December 11, 2016

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

-by Kathi

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Today is the third Sunday of Advent. Advent is observed by many denominations as a way to prepare for Christ’s coming or arrival. Advent is a time to be mindful that Christ has come, that he is with us and that he will come again.

The Sunday Gathering during Advent will have readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. Music will be selected based upon common songs used during the Advent season. Advent can be celebrated at home as well. The Christian Resource Institute has good information on the meaning behind Advent and ways to celebrate.

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Isaiah 35: 1 -10

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with diving retribution he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thristy ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Psalm 146: 5 – 11

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplied the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

James 5: 7 – 10

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Matthew 11: 2 – 11

When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'”

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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: Markus Grossalber A row of tea candles via photopin (license)

8 comments on “SSB Gathering – December 11, 2016

  1. And He shall be called Emmanuel, wonderful (and the only true) Counselor; no affected “certification” needed; no elitist’s seminary degree; no attitude. Just Jesus, who came so that those who believe in Him WILL be saved and have eternal life. No doubts, no guilt, no feeling sorry-you-were-ever-born tone. And no shame that you are a woman, or a man, but someone created by God.

    Thanks, Kathi.

    Unto Us (JJ Heller)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am guilty of the sorry-you-were-ever-born tone. I live alone, have no family close by and feeling sorry for myself instead of rejoicing in my Savior. Thank you Kathi for putting this service together. I needed the reminder that I am not alone and how much Jesus has done for me. It is humbling.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Brenda,

    You are not alone; you have the Holy Spirit in you, and you are one of God’s Children by means of being born again. Now let us do for others by telling them about the Savior, about the hope (the only hope) there is in Him for those who’d listen.
    May this Christmastime be especially wonderful to you, Brenda.

    Like

  4. ((HUGS)) to you Brenda R! You will always find friends and family here. I do understand feeling lonely if you don’t have anyone close around you. We are all human and all need a human connection as well as the spiritual.

    Like

  5. Kathi and Julie Anne,

    I simply love this blog; it encourages in so many ways. It’s indeed a blessing, and with contributors like Salty and her

    unique

    way

    of

    expressing,

    it

    is

    all the better.

    Thanks again for the Sunday forum, Kathi.

    Liked by 2 people

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