Experiencing Overflowing Joy In God’s Story, In Our Story: Advent Story Week 1 2013

The Story: Standing Tall, Falling Hard


“So in the course of time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, which means “I asked the Lord for him.”  – 1 Samuel 1:20

Christmas is not the remembrance of something that happened in the past but the celebration of the way to which each of us is called.

DOC112213-11222013152303-0001As we read this week’s chapter (10) from “The Story” one thing that occurred to me was that God never gives up on His people even when they go astray. There also seems to be a common thread when He is trying to reach them and get them back to His love and wish for them even though it seems they are not going to accept His ways. He on four different occasions when He is to select a leader for His people chose a woman that is without child, three of them barren and one the virgin birth. The first of them was Sarah who gives birth to Isaac (Genesis 18: 9-10 and 21: 1-3); the second woman is Hannah who gave birth to Samuel (1 Samuel 1: 20); the third is Elizabeth who brings John the Baptist into the world with the purpose of baptizing Jesus; the fourth was Mary who gave birth to Jesus. The people follow God’s way for a period of time and then they fall from His way and are back to the old way and many times it is worse than before. Like people of all times we are given the choice of what way to go and many times we get into trouble because we choose what seems to be the easy way out. It is almost like a person that has an eating, drug, alcohol or tobacco addiction and they take the steps to overcome their problem and one miss step and they have the problem again and often worse than before and it is more difficult to get back on the correct path. However God is there and waiting for us to return to His loving arms.

I am going to share with you the birth of our first born Sean 43 years ago. Josephine and I had been trying to have a child for about five years without success and thought that it was never going to happen and one day we received the good news and were elated. He was born two months early and everything seemed to be going fine when we found out that he had a serious medical problem and after several operations and shunts he still wasn’t getting any better. After consulting with the local doctor we took him to Children Hospital in Columbus. He was to spend the most of the next seven months there and things didn’t seem to be going as we had prayed and hoped for.  One night on my way home from visiting him and Josephine I pulled off the side of the road and with tears in my eyes I told God that this baby of about one year had taught me more about life than anything that had gone on before in my life. I also told Him like Abraham who was willing to sacrifice Isacc I was willing to sacrifice Sean but if he would cure him and let him live I would give up smoking and I was a 2 to 3 packs a day user. That was 42 years ago and I have kept my promise and you know that God has kept His. I share this story as a way of offering an insight as to what God can do and maybe a glimpse of what we need to do to help us reach for what God wants for all of us.

Butch Ransom

PRAYER:  God we come to you this day with heartfelt thanks for all of the blessing that you have bestowed upon us and we ask that you come into our life with the plans as to how we can grow closer to you and the promises you have told us that are there when we give ourselves completely to you. Amen 

          In what ways have you experienced the joy of God’s blessings in your life?

Suggested Scripture Readings for the First Week of Advent:
Sunday:  1 Samuel 1:20
Monday:  Matthew 1:18-25
Tuesday:  2 Samuel 7: 1-16
Wednesday:  Luke 1:8-20
Thursday: Psalm 85:1-13
Friday:  Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:2-7
Saturday:  Isaiah 11:1-9

Click this link for additional resources and ways to experience Advent at Faith UMC:  http://faithum.weebly.com/advent.html


About faithumchurch

Spiritual Formation Director at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio
This entry was posted in Advent, Devotions, Discipleship, The Story and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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