1st Sunday of Advent
Advent simply means “coming”. It is the season in which we remember and wait for the coming of Christ Jesus our Lord. We remember when he came to earth, born in Bethlehem, all those years ago. And, we wait with anticipation and readiness for Christ to come again. Join us in this 4 week journey as we wait and watch for Jesus!
Songs of the Season – “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
ponder nothing earthly-minded,
for with blessing in his hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
our full homage to demand.
King of kings, yet born of Mary,
as of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
in the body and the blood;
he will give to all the faithful
his own self for heav’nly food.
Rank on rank the host of heaven
spreads its vanguard on the way,
as the Light of light decendeth,
from the realms of endless day,
that the pow’rs of hell may vanish
as the darkness clears away.
At his feet the six-winged seraph,
cherubim, with sleepless eye,
veil their faces to the presence,
as with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Lord Most High!
Is there a phrase, line or verse that stands out to you? Why do you suppose this is?
What does this song call you towards that you have been forgetting?
Please add your reflection in the comments section to encourage others.
Message – Advent 1
Responding in Prayer
Instructions for Prayer
Silence – Centering Prayer
1. Take a comfortable position and posture. Close your eyes if it helps you. Take a few deep breaths in and out.
2. Begin by simply repeating the words of Habakkuk 2:20: “The Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silent before Him.”
3. Now, simply keep silence – both outwardly and inwardly. Allow yourself to be still with God. If busy thoughts start to pop into your mind (they always do), gently brush them to the side for the time being.
4. Continue to breath deeply and keep silence for 2 to 3 minutes. If you find you’ve been drawn off into the noise of thought or if distractions arise, return to the words from Habakkuk 2:20 and to silence.
Listening – An Examen
1. After the time of centering, take some time to listen to God. Quietly replay the last few days of life in your mind as though you fast-forwarding through the footage of your own life.
2. Slow down “the tape” and pay closer attention to any moments that feel especially significant to you. Ask God, what he wants you to notice about these moments and listen for an answer.
3. If no particular moments stick out, are there any themes that seem prevalent? Emotions that linger a long time? Ask God what he wants you to notice here.
4. Listen with an ear for any invitation God seems to be giving you in your life right now. Give yourself another 5 minutes or so for this time of prayer.
5. End with a few more moments of silence and repeating those words from Habakkuk 2:20.
Offerings of Thanks
While we watch and wait for Christ’s return we recognize that Christ has made us partners in his work. Like in the parable of talents (Matthew 25:14-30) we are to put the gifts the master has bestowed us with to work for Kingdom good and growth.
We are grateful for the ways you have been faithful and partnered with our churches in this trying season. It makes a difference. Thanks be to God.
Benediction – 1 John 2:28 (The Message)
And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we’ll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.