Advent Devotions, Week Three

Sunday, December 16th
Sometimes the greatest wisdom comes from the mouths of children. The Christmas story in particular puts children at the center: a teenage mother, shepherds young enough to sleep in the fields, angels of all kinds come to sing praises, and of course, a child born in a manger. Join us for worship at 10am for our annual youth Christmas program on this third Sunday of Advent, bring your donations of socks and underwear, and light your third candle today!

Monday, December 17th
This week we remember the shepherds — smelly, dirty, commoners who received the greatest news of all: the birth of Jesus. Who is unexpected and often forgotten in our world today? How do you think they experience good news?

Tuesday, December 18th
The shepherds were interrupted in the midst of their important work of keeping the sheep safe from wolves and thieves. How do you feel when you’re interrupted? Set an intention today to be open to being interrupted, and follow where that interruption sends you!

Wednesday, December 19th
The shepherds’ story in Luke 2:1-20 doesn’t tell us if the shepherds took their sheep with them to the manger. It would have been a lot of work to get them moving, but a lot of danger to leave them behind. What do you think — did they or didn’t they?

Thursday, December 20th
Christmas is only five days away!!! Are you feeling stressed yet??? It’s okay to say no to something when you need to rest and recharge. Find one thing in your calendar that you could say no to, and take that time instead to rest, breathe, and practice joy.

Friday, December 21st
There are many who can’t leave their work behind even for Christmas: doctors and nurses, retail and food service workers, parents and caregivers, and many more. Pray for those who long for rest.

Saturday, December 22nd
Today can be a frantic day in stores and malls. If you’re out and about, make sure to take your time. Drive carefully and be kind to those you meet — especially the overworked employees.

Advent Devotions, Week Two

Advent Devotions, Week Two

Sunday, December 9th
On the second Sunday of Advent, we read the story of the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary. When you light your two Advent candles, think about the angels we reflected on during the past week. How is Gabriel’s impossible message to Mary an example of good news?

Monday, December 10th
Our second week of Advent takes us to the magi, the “wise men” who traveled from a mysterious land in the East to follow a bright star (Matthew 2:1-6). They believed it would lead them to a king. If you were going on a journey to meet a new king (or a president!) that you didn’t know much about, what would you take?

Tuesday, December 11th
The wise men brought three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). These are not normal gifts for a baby, but they are good gifts for a king, who the wise men would expect to be surrounded by riches and perfume all his life. What was Jesus surrounded with instead? What do you think happened to the gifts after this story?

Wednesday, December 12th
The wise men’s dedication, generosity, and courage remind us, too, what it looks like to follow Jesus. Of those three, what do you think you have in abundance? What do you wish you had more of?

Thursday, December 13th
This coming Sunday is a big one: our Christmas pageant plus Undie Sunday! Don’t forget to pick up a pack of NEW socks or underwear to give to the Drawer, who will distribute it to people in need.

Friday, December 14th
As we rush through the final days before Christmas, take a moment to pray for those who won’t have everything they want, or even need. When you light your candles, pray for the poor, the sick, and the homeless, that all may feel love in whatever way it finds them.

Saturday, December 15th
Tonight is our monthly free Community Dinner—a time when we give back to the community around us by providing a delicious meal and a warm space with kind hearts. Tonight is extra-special as we gather not just for a meal but for carol singing after dinner. Join us at 5:30pm!

Advent Devotions, Week One

Sunday, December 2nd
This year, our Advent devotions at Grace will focus on the “cast of characters” ‘round the manger: the angels, the wise men, and the shepherds. As you light the first candle in your wreath, think back: did you ever play any of these characters in a Christmas pageant? Which one? What do you remember about them?

Monday, December 3rd
Angels play a big role in the Christmas story. We usually think of them with long robes, big white wings, and golden halos. But the Bible doesn’t really tell us much about how they looked. If you were going to deliver a message from God, what would you want to wear?

Tuesday, December 4th
Read through this coming Sunday’s story, Luke 1:26-38. What do you notice? What do you wonder about? What surprises you?

Wednesday, December 5th
When angels appear to Mary (Luke 1:26-38) and to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-20), their first words are “Do not be afraid.” Why do you think the angels begin this way? Where do you need to hear “do not be afraid” in your life?

Thursday, December 6th
The angels that appear to the shepherds say “On earth, peace, goodwill among people” (Luke 2:14). What do you think a world of peace and goodwill would look like? How can you spread a little more peace and goodwill today?

Friday, December 7th
Angels are often bringers of good news—sometimes shocking, always life-changing. Who has been an angel in your life, someone whose words or actions have changed you for the better? Send them a note to say thank you.

Saturday, December 8th
It’s one of the last Saturdays before Christmas and you may hurrying through errands, frantically cleaning, or worrying where to get that last perfect gift. Remember to slow down and to keep an eye out for people who need an angel—someone who can offer a kind word or just a smile to make a very busy time a little easier.