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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Devotion: Advent Week 1

This past week the Catholic church made changes to their English
speaking services, but altering the prayers and phrases. For example:
when the minister starts the service with "The peace of Christ be with
you" the old response was "And also with you." The new response is
"And also with your spirit." This is the first change in their
worship services in 40 years, and has unsettled many of congregants.
In the 1970s, Vatican II changed their worship styles to be more
accessible for the general public, and similar to other Protestant
churches. This change, the paper reported, is an attempt to try and
be more related to the old Latin style. Like a pendulum swinging back
and forth, they are trying to find the balance between relevance and
This has always been the challenge of the Christian faith. By God
putting on human flesh and coming as Jesus Christ, He revealed himself
to be relevant to our daily lives and not just some detached deity.
At the same time, by God revealing himself through Scripture, He shows
himself to be a God that adheres to the timeless principles of grace,
mercy and justice.
As we have entered the Advent season, we too stand in this tension of
relevance and tradition. Christ was born 2000+ years ago, yet each
year we celebrate his birth anew. We hold onto traditions like Advent
wreaths, family prayers, and Christmas decorations; but we also look
for new ways to demonstrate Christ's love (perhaps the Christmas
Village Toy Store or serving Christmas dinner at a soup kitchen).
As you prepare for Christmas morning and celebrate the birth of our
Savior, how can you make joy alive in your life this year? What
things from the past--hurts, broken relationships, disappointments--
should you let go of? What things from the past should you hold fast

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