Journey home

First Sunday of Advent (December 2, 2012)
Common Lectionary Readings:
Jer. 33:14-16; Ps. 25:1-10; I Thess. 3:9-13; Lk. 21:25-36

We enjoyed many nurturing conversations with friends this week and spent several delightful days playing with Sydney while her parents were at work.

Tony Brenneman takes a moment to rest and reflect on Duncan's Knob

Tony Brenneman takes a moment to rest and reflect on Duncan’s Knob

Daryl hiked with long-time friend Tony Brenneman to Duncans Knob, part of the Massanutten Mountain range. The Brennemans have generously given us use of their sports car for local transportation during our home leave.

Sydney plays blocks with Grandpa Byler

Sydney plays blocks with Grandpa Byler

Hide-and-seek with grandpa

Hide-and-seek with grandpa

On Dec. 1-2, we traveled with Daryl’s mother to Belleville, Pennsylvania, where we visited aunts, uncles and cousins we haven’t seen in years. We also re-connected with Dale and Wilma Kanagy, who visited us in Jordan earlier this year. At Locust Grove Mennonite Church, we had a brief chance to share about MCC’s Middle East work.

(l to r) Betty Byler with three of her late husband Jesse Byler's sibblings:  Bertha Peachey, Ray Byler and Lois Peachey

(l to r) Betty Byler with three of her late husband Jesse Byler’s sibblings: Bertha Peachey, Ray Byler and Lois Peachey

In the region this week:

More than 7,000 demonstrators gathered in Jabal Hussein, Nov. 30 (Jordan Times Photo by Nader Daoud)

More than 7,000 demonstrators gathered in Jabal Hussein, Nov. 30 (Jordan Times Photo by Nader Daoud)

The Common Lectionary readings are about our human journey home.

God promises exiles in Babylon that in the future they will once again experience security in Jerusalem and that God will send a leader who will do what is just and right in the land (Jer. 33:14-16).

“God guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his ways,” promises the psalmist (Ps. 25:9).

The Epistle and Gospel readings focus on our final home going associated with the second coming of Christ. Paul prays that God will strengthen the church at Thessalonica to be blameless and holy when the Lord returns (I Thess. 5:13). Jesus speaks of cosmic upheaval at the time of his return. He urges his followers to be careful, watchful and prayerful as they await the coming of God’s kingdom in all its fullness (Luke 21:25-36).

Our human journey is filled with wandering and missteps. It is reassuring that God continues to call and guide us home – to places of security, intimacy, justice and wholeness.

Yellow top Amish buggy in Belleville, PA

Yellow top Amish buggy in Belleville, PA

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