Fourth Sunday of Advent – the Messiah’s promise

Isaiah 42 paints a picture of the purpose and plan of Jesus, the Messiah. He is given to the world as a promise for justice, peace, healing and song. Come Lord Jesus. Debby

MM 12/21/14 a picture of the Messiah from Debby Bellingham on Vimeo.

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First Tuesday of Advent – what makes God mad

When you look around at the dark and lostness of this world, Advent reminds us that there is a final chapter to be written, one where God restores justice and righteousness. This chapter is being written today, in your life and through your life into the world.

MM 12/2/14 What makes God mad from Debby Bellingham on Vimeo.

Your call to liberate the world

image from www.acus.orgDear Elle,

I continue to think about Jesus’ mission statement. I realize I am speaking the obvious, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, consider again – It is Jesus’ intention to reestablish justice in this world.  He meant it when he said, “I have come to let the oppressed go free.”

With the fall came unhealthy fear; and such fear requires vigilance and self-protection. Fear makes you greedy and causes you to live from a place of deprivation. There may not be enough to go around so you must provide for yourself, you must make sure you are not taken advantage of, you must insure your safety and the safety of your own. You live in dread. Instead of friends and partners, you see threats to your well-being or competitors for the limited resources of this world; others are objects to eliminate or use in order to take care of your perceived needs.

This is the soil from which oppression grows; using power to stave off the realization of the expected fear. Individuals, corporations, countries, cultures, religions all are victims and perpetrators of this fear. And Elle, apart from the grace of God you and I are ruled by this fear.

The antidote to this fear is remembering the goodness of God and remaining in a trusting reliance on this goodness. You are totally safe in the keeping of your Father in heaven. You need not clutch and grab. You can live open hearted and open handed. You can share what you have with those who have less because God will supply all you need.

All you need, not all you want. This means that you may go without some things you think are necessary to your well-being. God is not as concerned with your temporal comfort as he is your eternal character. His love and wisdom will use all that enters your life and all that is withheld from your experience as the means of shaping you into the image of Jesus Christ. Therefore, with God’s grace, you can rejoice in and bear both the supplies and the lacks of your being.

Living in the abundance of God’s goodness will prompt you to grow in union with the will and intention of the trinity. You will begin to care about what God cares about; cry over the things that break God’s heart; work for the causes that allow his peace and justice to be experienced in the people, places and powers of this world. In the freedom that union with God’s will allows, I urge you to labor for justice and liberty for all of God’s creation.

Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom to know which “fights” for justice are yours to undertake. Most likely you will not be called to liberate the world, but you will be called to work for freedom in the world you inhabit. You can’t do it all, but do what you can for God’s will to be realized, support Jesus’ mission to let the oppressed go free.

With you in the journey,

Debby