A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Sunday, November 30, 2014

1st Sunday of Advent (Week of November 30th) - Lancaster First UMC

We light this first Advent candle as a symbol of expectation. We expect God to do great and wonderful things through each one of us this Advent season.

[As the first Advent Candle is lighted, the following prayer is offered.]

O God, we have high expectations. You are a God of the incarnation. This is a season of the impossible becoming possible. There is no God like you. We stand on our tiptoes waiting to see what you will do in and through us this Advent Season.  Through our special Christmas offering this year, lives will be saved, hearts will be transformed, and the hungry will be fed. Thank you for calling each one of us to reclaim the true meaning of Christmas this year. We pray this in the name of the One who is to come, our Emmanuel. Amen.

1st Week of Advent Thoughts:
  • What is on God's wish list for Christmas this year? Eliminating poverty, hunger, homelessness, malaria? List some other wish list items God has for our community and world. Don't forget to include our Christmas Missions Offering wish list which includes financial support for our Lithuania United Methodist Partner Church, Africa Development Fund, Imagine No Malaria, & Good Works Outreach, Athens, Ohio.
  • Reclaiming Christmas means that our wish list lines up with God's wish list. Be open to God's nudges to offer God's light to someone going through a time of darkness this Advent Season.

What is Advent?
Advent is a four-week vigil prior to Christmas, a period of watchfulness, waiting and reflection, not only for the celebration of the birth of Christ but especially for his coming again. Each week we light another candle on our wreath as the time of Nativity draws closer.

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