Second Monday • Advent 2022

December 5th, 2022

PATTERNS

“They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.”

—Hebrews 8:5

Hebrews 8: Christ Is Our High Priest

Written by Paul to Jewish Christians who were enduring persecution and were tempted to revert back to their former Jewish faith. It was probably written before AD 64.

“Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands. And since every high priest is required to offer gifts and sacrifices, our High Priest must make an offering, too. If he were here on earth, he would not even be a priest, since there already are priests who offer the gifts required by the law. They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.” But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it. But when God found fault with the people, he said:“The day is coming, says the Lord,when I will make a new covenantwith the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the oneI made with their ancestorswhen I took them by the handand led them out of the land of Egypt.They did not remain faithful to my covenant,so I turned my back on them, says the Lord. But this is the new covenant I will makewith the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:I will put my laws in their minds,and I will write them on their hearts.I will be their God,and they will be my people. And they will not need to teach their neighbors,nor will they need to teach their relatives,saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’For everyone, from the least to the greatest,will know me already. And I will forgive their wickedness,and I will never again remember their sins.” When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.”

I am borrowing the title “Patterns” from my daily readings from Jan Richardson’s book “Night Visions.” I was intrigued by the word and was interested in learning more about how “patterns” relate to the Bible and more specifically to advent.

My initial thoughts of patterns went directly to clothing items. I say this because just yesterday I texted a friend to admit that I was committing a cardinal clothing sin, I was wearing brooks shoes with adidas pants! Oh, the shame of it all!! (Hahahah). We both had a laugh. I’m not trying to say I’m a “fashionista” which I’m not, I’m just weird. I try not to mix and match athletic brands together such as Nike with Adidas, Reebok with ASICS….silly I know but I did warn you I’m weird that way. I’m also weird about color matching clothing and socks, not to mention brands. I have digressed too much….

Once I began to research patterns I discovered several examples in the Bible that I forgot I even knew, you probably know them too.

  • 1 Chronicles 28:11-12; 18-19. David instructs Solomon on building the temple and the pattern to be followed.
  • 2 Kings 16:10. King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and its pattern, according to all its workmanship.
  • Exodus 25:9; 40. Plans for the Ark of the Covenant; Plans for the Table; Plans for the Lampstand.

For the research geek in me, I found the below definitions fascinating.

This season of advent has been anything but a “pattern” for me and honestly I am enjoying some of the benefits of less boundaries. The story of Jesus’ birth should never just be about tracing the “pattern” set before us, merely for the sake of it. This is the story of God becoming flesh, to be born , to live as one of us and to save us. This season is life giving and life saving! Advent and how we choose to celebrate it can be open to slight diversions to enhance the experience. Even as I write this post, my thoughts are traveling with Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem with excitement for the birth of Jesus. I am just traveling a different path to get there and I’m so overjoyed that you have decided to journey with me.

Forgive us, God,

when we live our lives

within the lines,

when we say

this is the shape of our

work

this is the boundary of our

habitation

these are the limits to our

love

these are the lines of our

vision

these, are none other.


Draw us beyond our patterns

into yours:

shifting, moving,

curving, spiraling,

many-colored, ever-changing,

stretching, pushing,

challenging, renaming,

unsettling, disturbing,

casting forth,

and welcoming home.

— Jan Richardson©️

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Heb.8.5&version=NLT

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Heb.8.1,Heb.8.2,Heb.8.3,Heb.8.4,Heb.8.5,Heb.8.6,Heb.8.7,Heb.8.8,Heb.8.9,Heb.8.10,Heb.8.11,Heb.8.12,Heb.8.13&version=NLT

https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2022/04/who-wrote-the-book-of-hebrews/

https://sarata.com/bible/web/verses.about/pattern.html

https://biblehub.com/topical/p/pattern.htm

Second Sunday • Advent 2022

December 4th, 2022

DESIRE

“How I long for all of you.” —Philippians 1:8

Welcome to week two of advent! The traditional focus is on PEACE, and I will be adhering to that as well. In addition though, I will be occasionally referencing some of the themes in the Jan Richardson’s book I am currently reading, (Night Visions – searching the shadows of advent and christmas). In her book, she titles this week “Desire.” Have you noticed that everyone and everything is telling you what your desires are, or should be? The past couple of months the TV, radio and store shelves are trying to sell something you can’t live without. The newest smart TV’s, a new phone, a new computer, new dolls, new cars, jewelry, new clothes, etc…the list goes on and on. A lot of us finally give in and purchase at least one new/great thing. In the end, was it our desire or the sensational sales pitch that pulled us in. A great question we can all ask ourselves is, what is my desire?

“Take delight in the Lord,and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

—Psalm 37:4—

One thing I try to do is create or request a list of specific items when it comes to gift giving especially for children at Christmas. I am sure I am not alone this holiday season when I say, I desire to give generously unfortunately my bank account says otherwise. This year, gift giving will be minimal and I am hoping to be more “present” with those I love and care for. Gifts do not have to be store bought presents. One of my absolutely favorite things to do at Christmas is to spend an evening with my aunt and cousins. We typically have pizza and drinks, spent lots of time in conversations about our loved ones who are no longer with us, remembering how much we loved them. And, we laugh A LOT!! Last year, we also baked cookies (14 different kinds), made small gift baskets and gave them to friends and family. My heart is always so full when I’m with them. I also make it a priority to spend time with my niece and her beautiful family, she had three boys and they are 11/5/3…they are never dull that for sure. I also will be seeing my dad and brother during the holidays and gifts haven’t really been a thing for a long time, my dad is overjoyed with chocolate covered cherries! I am sincerely blessed. Once I start naming the gifts I already have, my desire is just the opportunity to be with those I love.

“The desire of the righteous will be granted.”

—Proverbs 10:24—

What is your desire(s) this holiday season? There is no right or wrong answer to give. If you have the financial resources to buy gifts and give them, that is wonderful. I’ve been that person and I really like her. This makes me think of a Christmas movie I watch every year, “The Little Drummer Boy,” he thought he had no gift, the truth is (he) was the gift and the bonus was he played the drum. When we choose to be authentically ourselves, give freely, we are by proxy God’s gifts to the world. God created each of us with a purpose and with a plan, when we seek God with all our heart, mind and soul we shall indeed, find Him.

“A gift opens doors; it gives access to the great.”

Proverbs 18:16

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11—

“The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Proverbs 18:16

Don’t let the world decide your desires for you! Don’t fall for the hype and commercialization or the next great thing! Seek God, ask Him to show you the true desires of your heart.

You, my friend are a gift already in so many ways.

“The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/

First Saturday • Advent 2022

December 3rd, 2022

God’s Steadfast Love Endures

Lamentations 3:1-24

“I am one who has seen affliction under the rod of God’s wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; against me alone he turns his hand,again and again, all day long. He has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones; he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; he has made me sit in darkness like the dead of long ago. He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has put heavy chains on me; though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; he has blocked my ways with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked. He is a bear lying in wait for me, a lion in hiding; he led me off my way and tore me to pieces; he has made me desolate; he bent his bow and set meas a mark for his arrow. He shot into my vitals the arrows of his quiver; I have become the laughingstock of all my people, the object of their taunt-songs all day long. He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “Gone is my glory,and all that I had hoped for from the Lord.” The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,“therefore I will hope in him.”

Lamentations was written by the prophet Jeremiah and consists of five poems (chapters) in the form of laments for Judah and Jerusalem when they were invaded and devastated by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, for the sufferings of the population, and for the poet himself during and after the catastrophe. The prophet Jeremiah also prophesied the birth of Jesus. *See references below for links.

’The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which He will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior’”

(Jeremiah 23:5-6).

The New Day

As I reflect on this first week of advent and the preparation being made to welcome the birth of Jesus; I am reminded each day we have is a gift. It is a precious, priceless gift from God. We can choose to hold on tight to it or we can step out from the darkness and shadows into the light. The light is our invitation to seek God, share God and grow closer to God.

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of attending a Christmas luncheon with seventeen ladies associated with the church that I am a member. These women are truly gifts from God and they see me, really see me and love me. I was able to visit with women I had not seen in a very long time, friendship that knows no boundaries of time, love and conversations flow like a river. Each woman brings something so rare and beautiful, their gifts and talents filled my heart to overflowing. As I left our gathering, my heart was full from their many gifts, to mention but a few; smiles that actually made their eyes glisten like precious stones, their hugs were warm and inviting, my worries and stresses seemed to just slide off my shoulders simply by being in their company. I am so blessed to have so many caring, loving and godly women in my life.

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”

Ps. 9:1

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

James 1:17

This week I have shared…

• Night Vision (https://charlotteannrobinson.com/2022/11/27/first-sunday-of-advent-2022/)

• Annunciation (https://charlotteannrobinson.com/2022/11/28/first-monday-of-advent-2022/)

• Choosing (https://charlotteannrobinson.com/2022/11/29/first-tuesday-advent-2022/)

• Shadow Goddess (https://charlotteannrobinson.com/2022/11/30/first-wednesday-advent-2022/)

• The Night I Landed (https://charlotteannrobinson.com/2022/12/01/first-thursday-advent-2022/)

• Blessing For A Lonely Night (https://charlotteannrobinson.com/2022/12/02/first-friday-advent-2022/)

• A New Day •

I love verse 22 and 23 in Lamentations 3, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Welcome To A Brand New Day

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Lam.3.1,Lam.3.2,Lam.3.3,Lam.3.4,Lam.3.5,Lam.3.6,Lam.3.7,Lam.3.8,Lam.3.9,Lam.3.10,Lam.3.11,Lam.3.12,Lam.3.13,Lam.3.14,Lam.3.15,Lam.3.16,Lam.3.17,Lam.3.18,Lam.3.19,Lam.3.20,Lam.3.21,Lam.3.22,Lam.3.23,Lam.3.24&version=NRSVCE

https://www.britannica.com/topic/biblical-literature/Lamentations-of-Jeremiah

https://www.ibelieve.com/faith/prophecies-that-foretold-jesus-birth.html?amp=1

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Lam.3.22,Lam.3.23&version=KJV

First Friday • Advent 2022

December 2nd, 2022

Blessing For A Lonely Night

As I was preparing to write todays post, I spent some time thinking about darkness and how it can also lend itself to loneliness. In this season of advent we place our focus on Mary, Joseph and Jesus and well we should, as it teaches us many value lessons. Mary and Joseph collectively and individually had so much happening to them it’s fair to say darkness and loneliness were fighting for their attention. The Bible gives us passages of God sending angels to guide them, protect them and instruct them. In their moments of darkness, the light of God was sent to them through His Angels.

Matthew 1:19-20 (Angel sent to Joseph in a dream)

Luke 1:26-30 (The Angel Gabriel sent to Mary by God)

“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?”Hebrews 1:14

The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
Matthew 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,and they shall name him Emmanuel,”which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

I also wanted to share the birth story of Abraham’s son Ishmael by Sarai’s (later called Sarah) handmaiden/Egyptian slave Hagar. I also believe this is an important story of God’s promises fulfilled when His children are surrounded by darkness and feelings of aloneness. Many place Abraham at the foundation/focal point for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Abraham is seen by all three religions/traditions to have been a man who put his trust in God. It is my hope that all three find ways to trust each other enough to be able to engage one another with openness and respect.

I believe in the One True God, and I am His creation and it is His will to be done not my own. I am sharing this story because God placed it upon my heart, I know not the purpose but He does.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Bible Gateway 1 Timothy 2:5

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

Bible Gateway James 2:19
Genesis 21
The Birth of Isaac

The Lord dealt with Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had promised. Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to his son whom Sarah bore him. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Now Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” And she said, “Who would ever have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”


Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

The child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.” The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Do not let me look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

In closing, I watched Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas on TV last night, I understand that she may not be everyone fan favorite and that’s okay, but she sang a song that I believe we all can relate to. I have included the lyrics below.

Hello God Song Lyrics By Dolly Pardon

Hello God

Hello, God?
Are You out there?
Can You hear me?
Are You listenin' anymore?
Hello, God?
If we're still on speakin' terms
Can You help me like before?
I have questioned Your existence
My resistance leaves me cold
Can you help me go the distance?
Hello God?
Hello?
Hello?

This old world has gone to pieces
Can we fix it?
Is there time?
Hate and violence just increases
We're so selfish, cruel, and blind
We fight and kill each other
In Your name defending You
Do You love some more than others?
We're so lost and confused

Hello, God?
Are you out there?
Can you hear us?
Are you listenin' anymore?
Hello, God?
If we're still on speakin' terms
Can You help us like before?
Oh, the free will You have given
We have made a mockery of
This is no way to be livin'
We're in great need of Your love
Hello, God?

Hello, God?
Can You grant us
Love enough to make amends?
(Hello, God)
Is there still a chance
That we could start again?
Hello, God?
We've learned our lesson
Dear God, don't let us go
(Hello, hello)
More than ever
Hello God?
Hello?
Hello?
Hello, God?
We really need You
We can't make it without You
(Hello, God)
We beseech You
In the name of all that's true
Hello, God?
Please forgive us
For we know not what we do
Hello, God?
Give us one more chance
To prove ourselves to You
Hello, God?
Hello, God?

Songwriters: Dolly Parton
Hello God lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Thank you for stopping by today, may you be blessed as you have blessed me. Keep HOPE alive and seek the Light of Jesus. —Amen.

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen.21.1,Gen.21.2,Gen.21.3,Gen.21.4,Gen.21.5,Gen.21.6,Gen.21.7&version=NRSVCE

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gen.21.8,Gen.21.9,Gen.21.10,Gen.21.11,Gen.21.12,Gen.21.13,Gen.21.14,Gen.21.15,Gen.21.16,Gen.21.17,Gen.21.18,Gen.21.19,Gen.21.20,Gen.21.21&version=NRSVCE

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matt.1.18,Matt.1.19,Matt.1.20,Matt.1.21,Matt.1.22,Matt.1.23,Matt.1.24,Matt.1.25&version=NRSVCE

https://www.faithfulmotherhood.com/loneliness-in-the-bible/