Archive for the ‘Advent Devotions’ Category

The season of Advent provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the fulfillment of God’s story in the form of unfolding promises.  As we wait for the coming of Jesus on Christmas, we also cling to hope as we await God’s promises to be completely fulfilled.  You are invited to enter this story each day during Advent by reading a passage of scripture, perhaps while lighting candles on an Advent wreath.  A time of silent prayer and reflection is encouraged along with singing a verse of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”  This faith practice works well individually or with loved ones.  Many people choose to use an Advent devotional as a prayer before an evening meal.

John 1:1-18 – The Word Made Flesh

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”)From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

QUESTION FOR REFLECTION

How have you experienced “the word made flesh” in Jesus?
(if you choose, share thoughts in the comments below)

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

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The season of Advent provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the fulfillment of God’s story in the form of unfolding promises.  As we wait for the coming of Jesus on Christmas, we also cling to hope as we await God’s promises to be completely fulfilled.  You are invited to enter this story each day during Advent by reading a passage of scripture, perhaps while lighting candles on an Advent wreath.  A time of silent prayer and reflection is encouraged along with singing a verse of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”  This faith practice works well individually or with loved ones.  Many people choose to use an Advent devotional as a prayer before an evening meal.

Luke 2:1-20 – The Birth of Christ

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

QUESTION FOR REFLECTION

Christ is with you.  How will you make this good news known? How will you ponder it in your heart?
(if you choose, share thoughts in the comments below)

O come, O King of nations, come,
O Cornerstone that binds in one:
refresh the hearts that long for you;
restore the broken, make us new.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

The season of Advent provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the fulfillment of God’s story in the form of unfolding promises.  As we wait for the coming of Jesus on Christmas, we also cling to hope as we await God’s promises to be completely fulfilled.  You are invited to enter this story each day during Advent by reading a passage of scripture, perhaps while lighting candles on an Advent wreath.  A time of silent prayer and reflection is encouraged along with singing a verse of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”  This faith practice works well individually or with loved ones.  Many people choose to use an Advent devotional as a prayer before an evening meal.

Luke 1:39-56 – The Magnificat

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

QUESTION FOR REFLECTION
How will you participate in changing the world into the new reality Mary describes?
(if you choose, share thoughts in the comments below)

 

O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer;
O Sun of justice, now draw near.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
and death’s dark shadow put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

Advent Week 4 Sunday – Mary

Posted: November 23, 2013 in Advent Devotions
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The season of Advent provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the fulfillment of God’s story in the form of unfolding promises.  As we wait for the coming of Jesus on Christmas, we also cling to hope as we await God’s promises to be completely fulfilled.  You are invited to enter this story each day during Advent by reading a passage of scripture, perhaps while lighting candles on an Advent wreath.  A time of silent prayer and reflection is encouraged along with singing a verse of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”  This faith practice works well individually or with loved ones.  Many people choose to use an Advent devotional as a prayer before an evening meal.

Luke 1.26-80 – Mary

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

QUESTION FOR REFLECTION
How is God moving your from “How can this be” toward “let it be with me according to your word”?
(if you choose, share thoughts in the comments below)

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
 that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

The season of Advent provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the fulfillment of God’s story in the form of unfolding promises.  As we wait for the coming of Jesus on Christmas, we also cling to hope as we await God’s promises to be completely fulfilled.  You are invited to enter this story each day during Advent by reading a passage of scripture, perhaps while lighting candles on an Advent wreath.  A time of silent prayer and reflection is encouraged along with singing a verse of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”  This faith practice works well individually or with loved ones.  Many people choose to use an Advent devotional as a prayer before an evening meal.

Luke 1:5-25 – Zechariah & Elizabeth

In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years. Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty,he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.” The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.” Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary.When he did come out, he could not speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept motioning to them and remained unable to speak. When his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After those days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she remained in seclusion. She said, “This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.”

QUESTION FOR REFLECTION
Have you ever watched God’s work unfold while unable to speak because of your unbelief?
(if you choose, share thoughts in the comments below)

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
 that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.