Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Come Lord, Come! Maranatha

Luke 2:9

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

Ray 2019Do you have any idea why we celebrate Advent – or don’t celebrate Advent? Advent is more than the period of time that begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and runs through Christmas Eve. It is more than merely a time of awaiting the coming of the baby Jesus in the manger. It is more than a time to light the candles in the Advent reef or log. In the fourth century – when they began to celebrate Advent – it was also a time of remembering and waiting on the Lord’s return. Yes – waiting on the return of Jesus – for His church. A time of anticipation of Christ’s return.

Have you ever heard the term Maranatha? It is an Aramaic term that literally means – Come Lord, Come – and was often used to invite our Lord’s return. I have used it for years on this blog page and in my e-mails (at times). I also use it in my prayers and in sermons.

Not only is the Glory of God seen when Jesus is being born – when the glory of the Lord shone around them – but the Glory of God will shine when Jesus returns. Describing Christ’s departure from earth – Luke records these words:

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December 3, 2019 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Need A Mulligan For Sin

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

photo on 6-11-19 at 10.52 amCan any reader remember doing anything we were sorry for later? Yes – I really did ask that question! Can any of us remember anything that we wish we hadn’t done? Anything we wish we could take back? Anything that we knew was a mistake the minute we did it or said it?

In golf – when someone hits a bad shot – mostly on tee-shots – they might ask their playing partners for a mulligan – some might just say they are taking a mulligan – a do over. In life – there are few places where do overs are. Most often we have to sleep in the bed we’ve madedeal with the cards that we selected.

I’m sure that Russell Wilson would like a mulligan on his last throw in Super Bowl LXLIX against the New England Patriots in 2015. Do you remember the interception in the end zone? I would also imagine that Pete Carroll would like a mulligan on the play call – just saying! I know some Seahawk fans wish they could call for a mulligan for sure. Continue reading

September 27, 2019 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maranatha! Come Lord – Come!

Luke 2:9

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

Life ChangeAs Advent comes to a close in the next few days – for yet another year – do we have a better grasp on its meaning? Advent is more than the period of time that begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and runs through Christmas Eve. It is more than merely a time of awaiting the coming of the baby Jesus in the manger. It is more than buying gifts and preparing for Christmas parties.

In the fourth century – when they began to celebrate Advent – it was also a time of remembering and waiting on the Lord’s return. The coming or return of the Messiah. Not just the babe in the manger – but the return of Christ – the ruling King.

Have you ever heard the term Maranatha? If you attend First Church (or any of the churches I have been blessed to serve in 40 plus years of ministry) you have heard it used numerous times in sermons and prayers. It is an Aramaic term that literally means – Come Lord – Come – and was often used to invite our Lord’s return. Continue reading

December 21, 2018 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent – What Is It All About?

Luke 2:9

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

112015 Ray McDonaldDo we have any idea why we celebrate Advent – or don’t celebrate it?  Advent is more than the period of time that begins with the fourth Sunday before Christmas and runs through Christmas Eve.  It is more than merely a time of awaiting the coming of the baby Jesus in the manger.

In the fourth century when they began to celebrate Advent – it was also a time of remembering and waiting on the Lord’s return. Have any of us ever heard the term/word – Maranatha?  It is an Aramaic term that literally means – Come Lord, Come – and was often used to invite our Lord’s return.  I have been using it a lot these days – with all of the unrest – the shootings – the terrorists – the bombings.  I have cried out many times for the Lord to come – to return for His people – to save us from ourselves.

Continue reading

December 4, 2015 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Mulligan for Sin

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

IMG_0301Can any reader remember doing anything we were sorry for later? I really asked that question! Can any of us remember anything that we wish we hadn’t done? Anything we wish we could take back? Anything that we knew was a mistake the minute we did it or said it?

In golf – when someone hits a bad shot – mostly on tee-shots – they might ask their playing partners for a mulligan – some might just say they are taking a mulligan – a do over. In life – there are few places where do overs are allowed. Most often we have to sleep in the bed we’ve madedeal with the cards that we selected.

I’m sure that Russell Wilson would like a mulligan on that last throw in the Super Bowl. I would also imagine that Pete Carroll would like a mulligan on the play call – just saying! I know some Seahawk fans wish they could call for a mulligan for sure. Continue reading

February 6, 2015 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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