“Advent is a period of spiritual preparation in which many Christians make themselves ready for the coming, or birth of the Lord, Jesus Christ. During this time, Christians observe a season of prayer, fasting and repentance, followed by anticipation, hope and joy. Many Christians celebrate Advent not only by thanking God for Christ’s first coming to Earth as a baby, but also for his presence among us today through the Holy Spirit, and in preparation and anticipation of his final coming at the end of time.” All About Advent, About.com
Being raised a Methodist, I remember with fondness the anticipation of lighting each successive candle in the Advent Wreath on each Sunday leading up to Christmas eve, when the final white Christ candle shone bright with love and hope. I even celebrated advent at home with my husband and children for a couple of years, but being empty nesters now, it’s harder to motivate myself.
For this first week of Advent 2011, I will share excerpts from the ‘2011 Advent Home Worship‘ by MaryJane Pierce Norton:
Advent is a time of waiting and of hoping. We wait for the day when we celebrate again the birth of Jesus. We hope that everyone will come to know God and to worship God.
God promised to send a Savior to the people. When we read the Scripture reading, we hear what the prophet Isaiah wrote about God. God is the potter who molds us. We know that the gospel witness is one that helps us understand that God is loving and just. God brings peace. This gives us hope. We anticipate again the birth of the baby Jesus remembering that Jesus helps us know God’s love for us.
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Think about a potter. A potter takes clay and forms it in a way that is pleasing. That is what God is able to do with each person. We are reminded that we are all the work of God’s hand. How do we use these gifts that God has formed in us?
Dear God: Thank you for your son, Jesus. Thank you for the words of the Prophet Isaiah that remind us that you are the source of our hope. Help us to live each day allowing you to form us in a way that brings about your kingdom here on earth. AMEN.
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The Advent Home Worship also provides daily meditations and actions to take to convey hope to others. For example, today’s item:
Tuesday, November 29, 2011: Is there someone you know who needs to hear words of hope? Make or select a card for that person and mail it today.
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