Advent Devotional | 2nd Tuesday in Advent | Year C | December 8th, 2015

Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
   we were like those who dream. 
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
   and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
   ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ 
The Lord has done great things for us,
   and we rejoiced. 

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
   like the watercourses in the Negeb. 
May those who sow in tears
   reap with shouts of joy. 
Those who go out weeping,
   bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
   carrying their sheaves.


You and I are dreamers.  I'm told by my therapist that I, along with everyone else, dreams every single night.  Now, we may or may not remember the dreams, but we had them nonetheless.  

You and I are dreamers.  We long for things unseen and perhaps even place our belief in them.  Especially during the season of Advent, as we walk together to the manger, we hope for a better world, a better dream, a better vision of ways humanity could exist in harmony with itself.  

You and I have cause to dream.  Every terrorist attack gives us cause to dream.  Every child prostitute we hear about, every homeless person we see, every alcoholic we encourage, every child we see bullied gives us cause to close our eyes and dream of a better way.

Psalm 126 is a psalm for dreamers, for those who want the Lord to do a new thing.  And the good news is that the Lord is doing a new thing this season.  We are to dream about it but you and I are called to do so with our eyes open.  We are called to dream with our eyes WIDE open!  We are called to dream by seeing what it is that God is doing in the world and keeping watch for ways that we can take part in it!

So, be "like those who dream" BUT keep your eyes open for God using you and others to make those dreams come true!

Prayer of the Day
God of my Dreams,
help me to be a vehicle of your dream of truth in this world.
Thank you for your son who brings our dreams of peace and hope to this world.
In all that I do, may I proclaim and embody his work in this world.  Amen.


Stephen Fearing

Stephen was born in 1988 in Cookeville, TN, where his parents met whilst attending Tennessee Tech. Shortly after, they moved to Dalton, Georgia where they put down roots and joined First Presbyterian Church, the faith family that taught Stephen that he was first and foremost a beloved child of God. It was this community that taught Stephen that it was OK to have questions and doubts and that nothing he could do could every possibly separate him from the love of God. In 1995, his sister, Sarah Kate, joined the family and Stephen began his journey as a life-long musician. Since then, he has found a love of music and has found this gift particularly fitting for his call to ministry. Among the instruments that he enjoys are piano, trumpet, guitar, and handbells. Stephen has always had a love of singing and congregation song. An avid member of the marching band, Stephen was the drum major of his high school's marching band. In 2006, Stephen began his tenure at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he majored in Religion and minored in History. While attending PC, Stephen continued to explore his love of music by participating in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Jazz Trio, as well as playing in the PC Handbell ensemble and playing mandolin and banjo PC's very own bluegrass/rock group, Hosegrass, of which Stephen was a founding member (Hosegrass even released their own CD!). In 2010, Stephen moved from Clinton to Atlanta to attend Columbia Theological Seminary to pursue God's call on his life to be a pastor in the PC(USA). During this time, Stephen worked at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Silver Creek Presbyterian Church, Central Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. For three years, Stephen served as the Choir Director of Columbia Theological Seminary's choir and also served as the Interim Music Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Stephen graduated from Columbia with a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with an emphasis in liturgy, music, and worship. In July of 2014, Stephen was installed an ordained as Teaching Elder at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in Shelter Island, NY. Later that year, Stephen married the love of his life, Tricia, and they share their home on Shelter Island with their Golden Doodle, Elsie, and their calico cat, Audrey. In addition to his work with the people who are Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, Stephen currently serves as a commission from Long Island Presbytery to the Synod of the Northeast and, beginning in January of 2016, will moderate the Synod's missions team.