Archive | December, 2019

Boxing Day, advent 2019, epilogue of ‘generous in time’- the days after…

26 Dec

Advent 2019, epilogue of ‘generous in time’- Boxing Day, the days after…

…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,


“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him,…

I have been spending Christmas week in Tampa, Florida with my daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren: Albert, ten; Hero, four and Liv, two.(soon to be three -in two weeks.)

I lived in the UK for almost 4 years (2012-2016) and loved many, many things about my time there: the transportation and clean (compared to NYC) streets; the safety rules and regulations; the parks and green spaces. The Countryside. But, I especially I loved British people ( in general) and the time I loved best, the day I loved best, was Boxing Day.

Restful and meditative, quiet-all activity ceased in busy London life that day. I could stop and think; pray and see. Boxing Day for me has been always about seeing.

My mom passed from me Boxing Day NYC 2015. Married 60 years, living her life, she passed on that day.

Yesterday, as Christmas came to a close and thoughts of her and others begun to open and return, we sat down for deserts. A relative had earlier stopped by with a meal and a handmade cake. This was a gift, a generous Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. No cooking, no works for us this day, just present openings and fellowship. Family.

On cake’s frosting had a picture of a baby in a manger and the words ‘Happy Birthday Jesus.’ As four year old Hero looked at the cake, he voiced,

‘Who is Jesus?’

My daughter grew up in the faith, went to a Christian school as did her husband. We love some distant away from them and we are living life as they. But life without Jesus, no matter how many offerings or gifts, is quite a poverty.

Priscilla and I, this Boxing Day, request a gift from you all,

would you pray that our grandchildren will see Jesus…

would you pray for other families like ours to see Jesus…

would you pray to see Him yourself, with eyes of a Hero?

Pray that as Shepherds who hurried to and then from the manger; pray that as Mary and Joseph who go to first Bethlehem, and then Egypt; pray that as the Angels who return to heaven, we would see Him and go where He directs.

Please pray though, we would see, and that Hero will see

Jesus help all to see

Advent 8, ‘generous in time’; the last in 2019 series/ waiting; patience; The Saviour comes- Hallelujah !!

24 Dec

Advent 8, ‘generous in time’; the last in 2019 series/ waiting; patience; The Saviour comes- Hallelujah !!

Christmas is about the fulfilment of time: past, presents and futures all come together in a moment of time. Waiting, comes to end at Advent’s last week, Christmas. But this waiting began with the prophet,

3 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

From the last words of the Old Testament Malachi to Jesus’ coming birth, there is a space of 400 or so years. And this birth takes place in the small and seemingly, insignificant hometown of David, Bethlehem. Few notice this coming. And those who do, in the main, are as insignificant as the town: they are shepherds in a field. So, Israelites still wait. And for whom?

Israelites wait for a saviour, a Messiah; a King and warrior; a prophet priest. They wait for Him to come; to fight and to speak. They wait for salvation. And then…

In addition to the 400 years, they need to wait another 30 years for the baby and child from Bethlehem to grow into Jesus the man.

And then Jesus comes. He comes to all.

In His three messenger years, He teaches and heals; He is baptised and walks through Judea; He forms disciples and friends. He lives among us.

And then, in a death moment, three dear friends of Jesus, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, have to wait in their Bethany home for Jesus to come…

John 11

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two mile from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

Jesus comes to Mary and Martha to weep; He weeps for His friend’s Lazarus’ death. And he is ‘deeply moved in spirit and angry.’ (33)

This phrase in the Greek means angry. Jesus weeps in deep passion; He is troubled and emotionally vulnerable; He is angry at death.

In this spiritual state Jesus shows us the meanings of people’s waiting and patience; of their tears and troubles. Of their sufferings. In this time of His last miracle before His own death, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. He ends deaths; resurrection begins.

The time of Messiah waiting, the times of tears at deaths, is over. Advent, the four weeks of meditative patience, of lengthening darknesses, of great expectations is over. Light comes.

The warrior king priest comes and conquers death. Forgiveness is given all by Jesus at His cross. He is borne to die; borne to conquer; borne to wash us in love, as our friend.

Jesus’ birth can only be understood in this light: the light of Lazarus’ and then His own bodily resurrection.

Jesus’s birth is His gift of resurrection for all. He is light, the light of the , our, world.

And to reverse the words of a Tom Hanks character in the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’; we don’t have to earn this.

Jesus, did.

He did by His birth and walk; by His life and resurrection. He earned, by His love and His forgiveness, our gift of eternal life with Him. He is our jewel; our desire. He is our gift.

Walk, sing, love and live in, by, His steps these days, this season. This moment.

Sing Hallelujahs as this young woman on the streets of Leeds,

Sing, for, because He first sang, loved us.

advent 7, for season 2019 …to be read & sung Christmas Eve

21 Dec

this is a hymn, a song of praise on the moment of our Jesus’ birth. My grand children call for me and say I am theirs: ‘my’-‘mine’

this season ,and for all times, Jesus is ours, mine-

this Advent we sing to our Saviour, as shepherds in Bethlehem fields. This is a hymn of that moment.

sing this season,

Bethlehem Down

When He is King we will give Him a Kings’ gifts,

Myrrh for its sweetness, and gold for a crown,

Beautiful robes, said the young girl to Joseph,

Fair with her-first born on Bethlehem Down.

Bethlehem Down is full of the starlight —

Winds for the spices, and stars for the gold,

Mary for sleep, and for lullaby music

Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold.

When He is King they will clothe Him in grave-sheets,

Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown. em>

He that lies now in the white arms of Mary,

Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down,

Here He has peace and a short while for dreaming,

Close-huddled oxen to keep him from cold,

Mary for love, and lullaby music

Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem down

King’s College Cambridge 2010 #17 Bethlehem Down via @YouTube

advent 5, generous in time, 2019 ‘endure’

17 Dec

5 advent 2019- generous in time, ‘endure’.

2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. Malachi 3:2(NIV)


Used in the Bible

(1) in the sense of “continue,” “last,” as in Psalms 9:7, “The Lord shall endure for ever” (the American Standard Revised Version “Yahweh sitteth as king forever”); Bible Study Tools

In the Hebrew the implied meaning of the word ‘endure’ is to hyper stay. To stand in patience; to accept with serenity; to move when called to walk or run; to dance or be still. We are always to endure. And we are to do it with Him. Forever.

And this what the people before Jesus time did; they endured.

In the last book of the Old Testament, the last prophet to speak before Jesus’ birth (about 400 years), we have Malachi speaking God’s word to to them and to us, and it is all about the principle beneath enduring:


In Malachi 4:6a the prophet describes God’s Advent plan He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children,and the hearts of the children to their parents;

Jesus comes to us to have us turn; to move; to give and forgive parents and children; friends and enemies. He comes so we can turn to and towards ourselves. He wants us to move, and to do so with Him.

Biblical endurance is paradoxical: it is about waiting, yet moving; about silences and song; about staying and going out. Enduring is about how we are to live on earth and in eternal heavens. Endurance is not either/or but both/and. We are to be in patient, time, yet also in expectant stillness. We are to be in waiting so we can move and dance in healing, with joy, with Him.

He comes for us, as Malachi 4:2 tells us, to turn, to live out the ‘but’, the paradoxical ‘but’ of endurance – ‘But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.’

At Advent, as darknesses lessen, we are to go out in the sun and experience healing. We are to turn to others, to ourselves, and to Him. We are to dance.

Having endured nights, we rise healed and dance. Having been failed and having failed others, we stay; we endure. Then we move with Jesus.

As the psalmist sings, For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

Endure with Him this season. It is for a lifetime. Dance with Jesus.

advent 2019, generous in time 5/6a- ‘back into the city’ Back to the Future

16 Dec

‘…back into the city’ Acts 14: 20

What does it mean to go back to the city, back, in a sense, to the future?

First, we need go back in time, to the time of David, as described by Paul, at Pisidian Antioch,

Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestor and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.”

Jesus comes as a child, baby, to call us to a new belief: no more death, all will have a bodily resurrection, a ‘better resurrection. (Hebrews 11:35)

35Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.

This great chapter in Hebrews on faith climaxes with the image of one who is tortured and refusing release so that gain something better. This crucified individual who in silence refuse to speak on their on part is Jesus, our Christ. He enters death to bring us a new future, a better life, an eternal one; Jesus enters so we can be born anew. Paul, in Acts of the New Testament, does the same: as Jesus: he enters, and goes back to cities, to creation so we enter into a new life, a better life, a resurrected eternal living.

19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.’Acts 14

This Advent there are places the Lord wants us to go back to. Paul was, as Jesus, left for dead outside the city. Disguarded as dead, he stands, rises and goes back into the city that hurt and rejected him,

What places does He desires you to re-enter this season? Where do you need to go ‘into’? No brief visit, easy forgivenesses-no ‘to’- an but ‘into’: a into that is deep, an exploration, a reframing, a re-birthing.

Go back; return; go into deeply. Make a new birth; a ‘better resurrection.’ This Advent is calling.

2019 osewalt family pictures…NYC lulu

16 Dec

…our first year together 💕

At many points in times past, Priscilla and I ( as many of you might have suspected knowing us over parts or the whole of these 40 years, have had some slight theological disagreements.)

One of these (among the role of women in churches; spiritual gifts and their exercise; and presently, whether a believer can lose their salvation- Hebrews 6 ) is: “what is family?”

We now-in 2019 – both agree: for Christians a family is all who believe in Him, our Saviour Jesus. Following His lead we, in Jesus footsteps when He -as a baby -added us to His heavenly family…(We are called His brothers and sisters; He came to receive freely as only a baby can- from Mary and Joseph, human parents.) we, Priscilla and I, have a ‘home grown’ family. A full, full family.

Jesus adopts all as full heirs, so have we prayerfully adopted others.

This, this NYC lulu, has pictures of our family…some of you may not see yourselves, but trust, we see you fully, always. (even if your images are not included here-but please feel free to send pictures you love to: and we will include you in a future future 2020 New Year’s Post) Now, enough words, pictures…


13 Dec

advent 2019-‘generous in time’m 4’ -swaddling clothes, Jesus’ gift: time, His generous time. And he spends it with, for us.

Swaddling clothes as an image is the baby Jesus’ first clothing; and…

Mary robed her child in “swaddling clothes” (Luke 2:7)

…and then …Joseph of Arimathea covered His Jesus in linen clothe (John 20)

…So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.

A woman robes Jesus at his birth; a man covers Him in linens for His death. In both moments the Lord of the universe and cosmos, the ruler of expansive heavens and earth, is tightly wrapped by human hands.

Jesus, of infinite time and space, is tightly wrapped, control and limited, in and by our humanity, by births and deaths. And He does this to allow us to enter His eternal time with Him, as brothers and sisters. Hebrews 2:11 defines us as His family,

“Both the one (Jesus) who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.”

He choose us- with our linens and swaddling clothes- our life with joys and tears; us. We are for all eternity the holy family.

When Mary wraps Jesus in swaddling clothes/ bands, she sends recognizable signals to all that this baby is wanted, owned, embraced, touched and is being fully cared for. Mary and Joseph prepared this child’s birth having brought to the cave manger these bands in which to they tightly bundle the infant Jesus.

One writer has offered the following description of swaddling: “For years the Orientals of Bible lands have cared for an infant child much as it was done when Jesus was born. Instead of allowing the young baby the free use of its limbs, it is bound hand and foot by swaddling bands, and thus made into a helpless bundle like a mummy. At birth the child is washed and rubbed with salt, and then with its legs together, and its arms at its side, it is wound around tightly … Although based on customary practices whose antiquity cannot be determined precisely, nothing could signal more clearly the helpless state of a newborn human more than being wrapped tightly in any such way. Such a being has relinquished all power even to move, let alone to do, at that point, much of anything.”

Just as in birth, in death Jesus is wrapped in clean anointed, perfumed linens (Luke 23:56) But- Jesus rises and leaves these clothes behind. (John 20: 7) He rises and moves through the linen without touching them. He does fit leave the clothes of His birth because he needs time with us. They represent his choice: us.

Resurrected he is no longer limited by time and space; death or life. He leaves the linens of His death, untouched- clothe ‘lying in its place’ (John 20:7)

In generous time He came as a wrapped baby to become part of our family. He walked and lived with us; cried at death, rejoiced at weddings. He healed and forgave; taught and listened. And then He died so we, His, His brothers and sisters, can live in eternal time with Him.

Jesus’ gift: time, His generous time. And he spends it with, for us.

Advent is about Him, in generous time. Rejoice well this season. Adore well. Give well. He did-first in swaddling clothes; then linens. He gave well. He gives well.

advent 2019 ‘generous in time’ – 3rd in the series- quick

10 Dec

quick: Advent 2019 ‘…comes quickly’ 3 in “generous in time” series

Recently I heard someone speak of a deep struggle he was going through. In his youth he thought of the future and catastrophised. Everything, all glasses, were empty.

Catastrophizing can generally can take two different forms: making a catastrophe out of a current situation, and imagining making a catastrophe out of a future situation.

But the present or future wasn’t the issue for this speaker. Now, older, his issue was catastrophically living, looking, breathing in his past. Mistakes and what ifs; this road or the other. And he can’t leave this past path. He was and is catastrophing.

And he was in this, his past, in dark hopeless despair. So, in this time lace, he is similar to Israel in the period between the last prophet and Jesus’ birth. Both were are stuck the past.

Israel was in absolute darkness for the 500 years before Jesus’ birth.

The prophetic word of the Lord ends after, with, Malachi (about 500 BCE). No more prophets or Spirit. Their is little hope, only much despair.

Israel was in disaster after disaster. All saw and experienced this emptiness, this absence of the prophetic word.

Darkness, absence, voids, silences was their embrace.

The Spirit has departed. And then, in a moment…

The Prophet Malachi, painting by Duccio di Buoninsegna, c. 1310-1311 (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Siena Cathedral).

…the word explodes, quickly, instantly. The writer of Hebrews speaks of Jesus, his coming, his purpose here:

Hebrews 2

17 And for this purpose (our salvation ) it was necessary that in all respects He should be made to resemble His brothers, so that He might become a compassionate and faithful High Priest in things relating to God, in order to atone for the sins of the people. 18For inasmuch as He has Himself felt the pain of temptation and trial, He is also able instantly to help those who are tempted and tried.

The Hebrews prophet does not look ahead and see the future; he looks at the Jesus of his own recent past and and sees our (Jesus’ brothers and sisters) future: eternal salvation with a compassionate and faithful high priest. He sees Israel’s past as a quick moment leading from darknesses to light. It – Israel’s past- is not a catastrophe but a story of life and love. This past, all of it, is His Advent story.

No more catastrophes: but pure eternal light. No more despairs; no darkness; only His compassionate salvation. Light.

Jesuspromise at Advent is come and redeem: to redeem the past of Israel and individuals; to redeem the sins of our future and present. He is king, priest and prophet. He is a child, a baby: our saving hope. He is the prophetic word made flesh.

One form of Jesus’ prophetic words are his parables. And one of his most beautiful and repeated words is the story of the lost son, the prodigal.

As Jesus tells the story the father of the prodigal waits, searches the fields for his lost son’s return. The son desires to leave sin and return to his home as a servant. Jesus describes the father as running to his son with compassion...

Luke 15: 22-24

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

The story of Advent is our narrative in darkness, in catastrophe; in sin and silence. It is our story without, before, Jesus. Stuck in a Groundhog Day, in a seeming eternal and sinful past, we live as the prodigal-with pigs, without hope.

But Jesus, as high priest and Saviour, as King and prophet. He comes as a Father and a baby. He comes in a quick, an instant, moment.

And that is the first word the prodigal son hears his father speak: quick.

The father seemingly speaks it to the servants; but he is really speaking to his sons and daughters. He runs and speaks to speak with quick compassions. ‘Quick’ – my servants: the robe and sandals; the ring and the fatten calf.

The first word the son hears is not ‘love’, or ‘I love you,’ but ‘ quick’. Why is this the father’s first audible word for his son, for us?

Because we have a High Priest, the image of the Father, who desires to run to us quickly. A Father who removes our shame and clothes us as a son, a brother in his robes. We have a quick ang generous Father.

This is the story of Advent:

Our Lord is quick to come, run, be born to us.

Our Father is quick to embrace us.

Our Brother is quick to love us.

Our Saviour is quick to forgive us.

My prayer for all this Advent.

Help us Lord to see you as the Father, priest, brother and son you are.

Come quickly my Lord. Come quickly.

Advent 2019- 2 stripped ….generous in time ….for such a time as this

6 Dec

Advent 2019- 2 stripped

….generous in time

for such a time as this…

“Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” – Esther 4: 13-14

Luke 2 – Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 11-12

Esther is an orphan, a jewess in an alien, a foreign culture. Chosen by contest due to her great physical beauty, she becomes the ruling society’s Queen.

Stripped of her identity, her home with guardian uncle Mordecai and her community, Esther is bathed in earthy beauties. Robes and fragrances; glances and deference. She moves from orphan to consort; from young girl to married woman. In her height, her time of physical beauty, she becomes, is, a Queen.

In His heavens, Jesus dwells eternally in a loving community: Father and Spirit communicate and touch, embrace and enjoy each other continually. They are family.Jesus and family is Lord of all, heavens and earth; cosmos and spiritual beings. He is King. But…

He comes, He chooses, voluntarily come to earth. And He comes as the least of the powerless- baby. Jesus takes off His heavenly community and becomes a homeless child. Stripped of heaven, He binds himself in time, to refugee parents, to earth. To us.

No longer in control, as a child, a newborn, he can only receive- milk and mother’s song; heat from animals on a cave manger; a father’s care. Stripped of His heaven and power, Jesus models this, His first gift: the ability, the acceptance to receive.

He models Esther’s story of receiving.

Advent is about beginnings, first gifts, and Esther – as a trope, a foreshadowing of Christ Jesus, also models this first gift. She is stripped of her past and then receives the position of Queen. In a moment her life is transformed, changed. She receives so then at the right time she can give.

She enjoys the pleasures of her kingdom. Yet, she is in a position to save her past, her Jewish heritage from the genocide of Haman, the country’s prime minister. She is in the time, the perfect moment, as Mordecai reminds her, for this-her people’s salvation.

The shepherds are told that today they have a saviour born, given to them. A gift, a Saviour, comes. Today, a time and child is given. And He is warped in swaddling clothes, clothes chosen dnd blessed by His mother Mary- holy anointed, yet humble clothes. Stripped of the heavens, the baby Jesus is covered with earthly sounds and smells; human fallible love and joy. But …Why- this time, this gift?

To model salvation. Salvation is a received gift. By faith Esther approaches the King though going to him it summoned exposes her to possible death. By, and with, faith she moves. She approaches and is received.

The man Jesus also moves. He moves miracles and teaching; listening and living. He models receiving and giving to his disciples. Then He moves them to move: He to send them out in the advent of their ministry in Matthew 10. His last and primary instruction to them is,

8 ‘Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.’

This is salvation’s message: receive and give, freely.

Esther, in her journey, is adorned with earthly riches and power. She first receives.

Jesus’ in His Advent journey, His choice is to lose all His heavens for us.

Esther’s story mirrors Jesus in reverse: she is adorned, He stripped. She receives; He discards. Yet…

…both, after freely receiving, Esther her throne, Jesus His earth and humanity, give.

And they both give the gift of salvation. Esther of her people in a specific time; Jesus to His people

of eternal time.

This Advent let go of all that you hold and is holding you. Let go and receive anew; meditate on receiving in this present moment the stories of salvation. Past and present; future and eternal.

For such a time as this, strip yourself and receive Him. He gives.

Advent 1: the gift of the moment (2019)

3 Dec

Advent 1: the gift of the moment

(the first of an eight part series)

1 Peter 1:12 (WNT) To them ( the prophets) it was revealed that they were serving not themselves but you, when they foretold the very things which have now been openly declared to you by those who, having been taught by the Holy Spirit which had been sent from Heaven, brought you the Good News. Angels long to stoop and look into these things.

This Advent, we are living in the moment, awaiting His coming. Angels are longing, bending, stooping and desiring to see our moment.

What is this moment? Mindfulness speaks of a present moment-both past and perished, yet alive and eternally present. This promised moment, this present moment is the everlasting eternal moment of Advent. It is the moment of all moments. The beginning of His new creation- it is our story moment- our advent moment: the coming of our Christ, our promised saviour into our earthly world.

Advent is about the gift of this and other moments- it is about new beginnings: newness and promise; expectations spoken and fulfilled; gifts of Magi and the Father. Our Father…. this is what Advent calls us to be mindful of. Our Father’s gift, Jesus His son.

Luke writes of these beginnings, Advent/advent moments, in both his Gospel and his book on the new Christian church. He begins his book of Acts of his church community with…

1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” NIV

And in his first book, Luke’s gospel…

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly accountfor you, most excellent Theophilus,4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Luke 1 NIV

Luke writes, is deeply captivated, about advents, about beginnings.

The book of Acts (his second book) is about the gift of the Spirit. His Gospel is about the gift of our Saviour. These are gifts for new beginnings. Our new beginnings.

This is what Angels are stopping to look into: the Advent of the Gospel; the gift of salvation; the story of a child Saviour. They are also looking at us. They are looking at His story in, with, for us. They are looking for our new births with this story. Our advents.

This season of 2019 I will be writing about Advent beginnings: the beginnings of the Christian church in Acts, alongside the newness of a baby child in our world. These moments share in common a writer, Luke, and a Saviour; a beginning with a past; angels and shepherds; messengers and on lookers. Advent is about shared one shared moment which forms an eternity of new births, new beginnings- our stories together with His. Stories together as one

woven and still forming tapestry.

The story is about a Saviour, the Messiah. It is also about us-how we see and hear; receive and respond; live in moments and, pass, go on. It is about saving moments; eternal and everlasting moments. It is about advents, beginnings, our stories and His.

Advent is about keeping our story new and alive, a beginning without end. As eternal as the story of a homeless couple having a child in a cave manger. It is a story of the gift of the moment.

Join this eight part reflection On Advent beginnings – they will appear on Tuesdays and Fridays each week of Advent – at