Beer Advent Day 24: Victory At Sea

victory-at-sea

Brewery:  Ballast Point Brewing

Location:  San Diego, CA

Style:  Imperial Porter  ABV: 10%

Contributed By:  Paul Krakau  (Thanks Paul!)

Ballast Point Brewing began in 1996 in the back room of Home Brew Mart, a store with supplies, ingredients, and conversation that every brewer needed to make better beer at home.  From day one, Ballast Point’s philosophy has always been ‘doing what we love, and making what we love to drink.‘ This statement led to the founders incorporating the two things that they love:  beer and fishing.  Many of the beers are named for fish or fishing terms, and the labels have fish on them as a reminder to always do what you love.

Tonight’s Imperial Porter should be a nice close to Beer Advent 2016.  Coming in at 10% ABV you’ll definitely want to pour the beer into a glass, kick your feet up, and sip slowly to savor the coffee, vanilla, and spices!

For the final time of this year’s Beer Advent……………………………. Cheers!

Advent Reflection:  Luke 2: 15-20
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

No Silent Night
by Debbie Wallis

It was not a silent night
Men were questioning
What this strange starlight meant.
Others, roused in midst of their watch,
No longer questioned.
For their night was split
with the shock of a choir of angels
Shouting, “Glory to God,
The Christ child comes.”

It was not a silent night.
It was a noisy confusing night.
The city was congested,
Tempers were short,
The inns were crowded–all of them.
And Mary and Joseph–
What did their hearts cry
When they saw the lowly birth bed?

It was not a silent night.
His coming tore a woman’s body.
His coming was hard–
Dreadfully hard
for everyone involved.
His coming was not a mythical
anesthetized 20th century dream.
It was hard and cold.
It was heavy.

But it was not silent.
He forever split our darkness
with the proclamation of angels
that the Light of the world was shining.
That for all ages to come
We would know
That heaven is not silent.
For God has spoken.
He has come.

 

NATIVITY
On the night Jesus was born nothing seemed right.  The God of infinite creation was piercing into finite space and time on a spectacular mission to live, love, die and conquer death for His creatures. This divine entrance should have been celebrated as the biggest event of all human history.  The coming Messiah would have been expected to be heralded by kings and religious people of power. The cities should have been draped with regal pageantry. Honor should have been the overwhelming emotion of the world’s inhabitants. The anticipation of the Creator’s arrival should have been at a crescendo.

But that’s not how it happened, did it? The little, dusty village of Bethlehem was not an appropriate venue for a coming King. The streets and inns were crowded with too many outsiders angry that they were being forced by Rome to return to pay taxes.  The night was cold as the wind blew through from the nearby hills. The juiciest piece of gossip at the village well was that there was a young pregnant unmarried Jewish girl looking for a place to say. Her story was a scandal to all who listened.

With no room in the inn and with no family willing to take her in, Mary and Joseph find shelter from the stares and cold in a place reserved for animals. She endured the pangs of birth alone, without help. Then laid her baby in a feeding trough in that smelly dank stable. It couldn’t have been comfortable. The wondrous angelic announcement of nine months ago must have seemed like a false promise. The sadness of not having family around and absence of joy at a birth had to feel desolate.

That’s what it looked like. Nothing seemed right. But there was more, much more than the eye could see. In reality this was not a mistake. This is exactly what God had planned. The Messiah came into this family, in this village, at this time in fulfillment of hundreds of years of prophecy.  This was His big entrance. God orchestrated a host of angelic beings to appear in the sky to shepherds who were deeply and forever moved. When they came to the stable it was a reminder to Mary that they were not forgotten. God was watching.

It was not at all dark. There was light – warm, soft light. There was wonder – in the faces of Mary, Joseph and the shepherds. There was praise – in the voices and hearts of the shepherds who were loudly glorifying God. Then there was peace and confidence – in the heart of Mary. Deep in her heart she knew the truth and magnitude of the moment. She had peace. She had hope.  In a moment when it looked like nothing was right, in reality, all was calm, all was bright.

Prayer
Lord Jesus, this Christmas as we sing the familiar carols, hear the familiar readings and ponder the familiar mysteries, give us the gift of pure worship — that ability which Mary had of attributing to you your true worth, your full value, your inestimable greatness. Teach us to be reverent; yet teach us how to express the love that burns within our hearts as we think of your goodness to us–that you have come to be our light in darkness, our hope in despair, our strength in weakness, our shelter in the storm — yes, and our eternal Saviour.
Amen.

-Taken from “The Advent Project”  Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts

 

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