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Devo

Devotional

Our congregation, pastors, and staff write devotionals to help us experience the seasons of Lent (before Easter) and Advent (before Christmas) more fully. They are posted below with the most recent on top and do not post until the season begins.

December 17 | The Third Sunday of Advent

THE SHEPHERDS’ CANDLE
The candle we light today, on this third Sunday of Advent, is the Shepherds’ Candle. It represents the joy and celebration the shepherds shared at the birth of Christ.

READ:
Luke 2:8­–10 and Luke 2:15­–20

Though the shepherds were frightened, they went to Bethlehem to see this Christ Child. Having seen the child, they left the manger, overflowing with joy. They set out to tell everyone about the angel’s message and about having seen the newborn King.

Today in our Worship service, we will light the previous two candles and the pink candle.

Today we light the Prophecy Candle, the Bethlehem Candle, and the Shepherds’ Candle. This candle represents the joy and celebration that filled the shepherds that first Christmas.

PRAYER:
God of good news and great joy, free us today of any complacency about the message of Advent and Christmas. Rekindle in us a joy that springs up from within and carries us through the best and the worst of times. We give you our joyful praise! Amen.

December 16 | Morning & Evening

Today the morning and evening devotional is one
Luke 1:49-52
“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”

DEVOTION by Care Crawford

Mary’s song continues. The magnifcat goes on. Did you write your own last night? Today let the morning and evening verses hold together as one.

Read yesterday’s verses combined with today's. Read them aloud.

Try listening to a rendition of Ave Maria- maybe google or go to I Tunes and look for Franz Biebl’s "Ave Maria"…it is a beautiful piece of music. (One of my husband’s all time favorites!)

As you listen, close your eyes and be transported into relationship with Christ. Even though you may not understand the words in Latin, take the Scripture from yesterday and today-and see how you can translate it!

Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae
et concepit de Spiritu sancto.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus, Jesus.
Maria dixit: Ecce ancilla Domini.
Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus, Jesus.
Et Verbum caro factum est
et habitavit in nobis.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.
Amen. Amen. Amen.

Here are some questions to consider as you listen to the music of the Magnificat:

What are the great things the “Mighty One” has done for you?…List them and thank Him for them.

What does MERCY mean to you? There is a line in a song we sing in contemporary worship, “mercy triumphs over judgment.”. What does that mean to you?

When the Scripture says that God has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts, how do you understand that? What happens when we are pride-filled?

God lifts up the lowly. How do you see that happening in our society, in your community? How do you get called to participate in this? What tangible ways might you also look to the lowly and give them a “lift up”?

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MEMORY/TRADITION:
Care Crawford here. When I was a little girl our family would drive into New York City at Christmas time, to see the department store windows decorated for Christmas, and hear the Salvation Army people collecting money with a red kettle and ringing a bell on each street corner. We were there to see the lights of the Rockefeller Center Tree, watch the skaters and go to Radio City Music Hall to see the Christmas pageant. I remember loving when the real animals walked across the stage…especially when the wise men came on the scene…real camels! I was awed-the bigness of the stage, the music, the pageantry. I can remember thinking how great God must be to have people put on a show like this to tell His story!

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS CAROL:
O Come All Ye Faithful

ONE LINE FROM THE CAROL YOU LOVE:
“Oh come”…(I love the invitations of God!)

 

 

 

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