Day 9: Snow Pilot

About the Beer:
Snow Pilot is brewed by Point Brewery located in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin. Point Brewery was built and brewed their first beer in 1857, and have been brewing great beer ever since(except during prohibition, which is when they started brewing craft sodas). One of their claims to fame is providing beer to soldiers during the Civil War! Point brewery has a very personal connection to one of our fellow Beer Adventers this year. Garrett Shibilski’s grandfather, Kenneth Shibilski was the owner and operator of the brewery from 1982-1993. Back to the beer! Snow Pilot is a handcrafted brown ale brewed with savory crushed pistachio nuts, a perfect beer to enjoy as the weather starts to get colder

Advent Reflection: This devotion is from “The Advent Project” which is created by a ministry of Biola University called CCCA (Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts).

CHRISTMAS PROPHECIES OF PEACE
Scripture: Luke 1: 68-79, Luke 2:14
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant—as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old—salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us; to show mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; to give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is well-pleased.

Poetry:
Poem 50 (“I lost my way, I forgot …”)
from “Book of Mercy”
by Leonard Cohen

I lost my way, I forgot to call on your name. The raw heart beat against the world, and the tears were for my lost victory. But you are here. You have always been here. The world is all forgetting, and the heart is a rage of directions, but your name unifies the heart, and the world is lifted into its place. Blessed is the one who waits in the traveller’s heart for his turning.

CHRISTMAS PROPHECIES OF PEACE

As we amble on towards Christmas, today’s devotional selections call us to consider how we search and wait for Christ. They have in common the notion that we are wanderers, searching for the paths of peace. 

But what does it mean to wander? And what might wandering have to do with peace? We might quickly think of wandering as aimlessness, of someone who has lost their way, perhaps even hopelessness. But today’s scripture, art, and poetry evoke a different sort of wandering: a leisurely searching, a focused exploration. 

Luke gives us prophecies of rescued wanderers who are guided onto the paths of peace. The visual art is a modern icon depicting the wandering messenger St. John the Forerunner. The poem is a modern Psalm spoken by a wanderer who realizes he is not alone and learns to trust that each step is guided.

In each, we might say that the wanderers have been rescued, set secure on their path of seeking. And for us, they become trailblazers. Their wandering becomes pilgrimage, intent towards their hope and final home. 

Those who wander in this way have open eyes, ears, and hearts. Light shines in the darkness, and they quickly move toward it. Birds sing and they stop to listen. Heart shudders and they turn around. Wandering in this way provides a kind of presence, opening the senses in subtle ways so that response is free and nimble. Wanderers like this are willing to discover lots of things along the way, even as they keep journeying forward. 

John the Forerunner, as he wandered through the wilderness, always kept his eyes, ears, and heart open. He called others to join him in his steady attention: “Prepare the way for the Lord.” 

This call to repentance is, at its heart, a call to remember. It is a call to remember that we are always forgetting, that our hearts are a “rage of directions.” But there’s good news for the dull-sensed, aimless wanderers among us. John, the wandering trailblazer, the gaunt-winged messenger singing songs of repentance, was shown the path of peace. His steady wandering was rewarded with sight: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” 

Have you been an aimless wanderer? A hopeless wanderer? If so, can you open your eyes and heart to meander on this pilgrimage in a new way today? In this age of anxiety and overload, embrace a slow but steady certainty that you are guided. Take time to quiet your heart. God has always been here; are you able to listen?

Let’s ask God to incline our hearts to wander this way, toward the path of peace.

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