Advent Word: Confess

Day 11 of the Advent Word Calendar and today's word is 'confess'. To confess can mean to acknowledge guilt. It can also mean to declare faith in or adherence to something or someone, for example faith in Jesus or loyalty to him.

This photo of the painting 'The Return of the Prodigal Son' by Pompeo Batoni, shows a repentant son confessing to his loving father. It is based on Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son, found in Luke 15: 11 - 31. In my mind this 18th century painting shows the 2 meanings of to confess that I mention above.

Homeless, hungry and in desperation, after wasting his share of his father's wealth, the young man returns to his father to confess he has wronged him and feels unworthy to be called his father's son. He has enough faith in his father to hope to be taken on as a household or farm servant. The wide embracing arms of his father show the father's love and loyalty to the son he has never given up on.

What was the result of the prod…

Advent Word: Grace

Today's Advent Word on Day 10 of the Advent Calendar 2019 is 'Grace'. It is such a lovely word. 

'Grace' is used to mean many things. In the Bible 'grace' is an attribute of God's character. Grace is linked with unearned mercy, undeserved forgiveness

That compassionate nature of God is revealed particularly through Jesus. In the end, the grace of God is all we can rely on to save us from the mess we are in as sinful humanity.

I love this description of the loving kindness of God, revealed in Jesus: '
"The gospel portrait of God as expressed in and through the person of Jesus is a picture of - a God who loves us totally and unconditionally, just the way we are at any given moment, not the way we think we should be, a God who forgives us even before we realize we need to be forgiven...a God who wants us to be healed and whole and happy, who enjoys surprising us with lavish gifts...a God who wants to be with us in suffering and in joy, in victory and …

Advent Word: Root

I've recently planted some winter onion sets and some garlic. Although the roots of these vegetables are always short, my hope is that they will take root in this cold season. With all the rain we have had, they are not short of water. After Christmas, once the hours of daylight start to increase, they should start to send up tiny green shoots, the promise of a harvest to come by the summer.

Today's Advent word in the Advent Word 2019 Advent Calendar is 'root'. It is a word that resonates with many of the Advent themes and readings. In a previous post 'O Root of Jesse come and deliver us' I wrote about Isaiah's prophecy of a coming Saviour and his image of a new shoot that would emerge from the old "root of Jesse". 

For today, I have posted an image of trees growing each side of a stream. You can see the roots of the tree in the foreground reaching down into the life-giving water. This reminds me of what the prophet Jeremiah said about those who tru…