2016 Advent Devotions
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Blessings to you and Merry Christmas!
=== Welcome from the 2016 Advent Devotions Booklet ===
Calling All Peace-Builders
“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” —Isaiah 2:4
In my estimation Christians these days tend to speak more about the emotional and relational aspects of our faith than did previous generations. I can scarcely recall a time, for example, when my grandparents or people in their age bracket read books about love languages or naming your deepest feelings. For them following Jesus involved, first and foremost, a profound commitment to discipleship and tangible Christian service. As one elderly man stated it to me several years ago, “We read the Bible and do it.”
I must quickly add, however, that I am all for this recent swell of interest in the inner life—just not at the expense of faithful and courageous action. In reality the Gospel of Jesus involves both the hope of inner peace as well as a call to radical peacemaking. We should not, and need not, choose one over the other.
As president of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, I am delighted once again to give you this Advent devotional. My colleagues and I have prepared it as a way of praising God for his unfailing goodness and thanking you for your encouragement and support. As you read the texts and reflect on our associated comments, we pray that you will be both renewed in spirit and stirred to action. If you are, please pray for us as well!
We thank you, O Lord, for the promise of peace that passes all understanding. Give us the courage—the will!—to promote lasting peace in our war-torn and violent world.
Terry L. Brensinger, Ph.D.,
President of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and Vice President of Fresno Pacific University