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Begin again

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program has created a daily Advent devotion – Proclaiming the Good News of God’s Peace. I had the privilege of writing the devotion for today. You can order the booklet or read each day’s devotion.

Tuesday, November 29
Matthew 21:12-17

We think of Advent as a time to prepare to celebrate again the birth of Jesus. In today’s reading, we find not a baby but a  grown-up Jesus. Jesus entered the temple and saw people selling animals to the pilgrims for their obligatory sacrifices. They exchanged Roman currency into Jewish money so the temple tax could be paid in appropriate coinage. Jesus disrupted the scene, overturning tables and chairs.

This striking story seems more appropriate at the end of Jesus’ life than at its beginning. But here it is. We wonder: Did Jesus object to all commercial activity in the temple? Or just to the exploitation of the people by those who controlled the means of ritual purity and access to God? In either case, in both cases, his actions invite the people to change, to begin again.

Its placement here, in Advent, invites us to begin again as well. Begin again in our hearts, in our relationships with God, in our relationships with those we love and in our relationships with those we do not know. Begin again to live lives walking humbly with God, seeking peace, doing justice, and loving one another. Begin again with confidence because we know who was present at the beginning . . . who awaits us at the end . . . and who holds us in the meantime.

God of the ages, may this Advent season be a time of renewal and new beginnings in our lives of faithful discipleship following Jesus, whose birth we celebrate. In his name we pray. Amen.

Rev. W. Mark Koenig, director, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, New York, New York

See you along the Trail.

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Proclaiming the Good News of God’s Peace

Order now!

Advent is coming. November 27, 2011 brings the First Sunday in Advent in western churches.

Once again, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program offers a booklet of collected daily devotions for the Season of Advent. Proclaiming the Good News of God’s Peace contains brief devotions and accompanying prayers that follow the daily lectionary readings. Individuals, households, or congregations may use the devotions to prepare for the coming of the Prince of Peace.

Order copies for yourself, your family, and community of faith.  You may also call Presbyterian Distribution Service at (800) 524-2612 to order Item #24358-11-004.

The booklets cost $.40/each.

Note: Eastern Orthodox churches use the Julian calendar and observe 40 days of Advent rather than four weeks, thus Advent begins on November 15.

See you along the Trail.

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