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Advent Readings - Hope

Christmas lights and candles offer a reminder that Jesus is the light of the world, and he came to bring light into the darkness. 

This theme of light is what originally gave birth to the Advent Wreath in Lutheran Germany. The Advent Wreath is typically evergreen and contains five candles, each lit on successive Sundays during the Advent readings. 

Advent readings can vary within churches and denominations. Our verse for the First Advent Sunday, which in 2021 falls on 28 November, relates to Hope and is taken from Isaiah 9:2.

The Spirit of God

But now, Job, listen to my words;
pay attention to everything I say.

I am about to open my mouth;
my words are on the tip of my tongue.

My words come from an upright heart,
my lips sincerely speak of what I know.

Job 33: 1-3

 

Image: Jan Tinnebergon, sourced from Unsplash

 

Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

And now these three remain: faith hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1Corinthians 13

Coming together

Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for,
it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 18:19)

 

 

Photo by Edwin Andradeon (Unsplash)

There is a River

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into
the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake
with their surging.

Psalm 46:1-3

Thanks to the Sovereign Lord!

We give thanks and praise to the Sovereign Lord for his amazing works and constant source of strength!

 

 

*The photograph of a deer is by Jeremy Manolok (sourced from Unsplash)

Freedom in the Spirit

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord,
the veil is taken away.
Now the Lord is the Spirit
and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom.
And we, who with unveiled faces
all reflect the Lord's glory,
are being transformed into his likeness
with ever-increasing glory,
which comes from the Lord,
who is the Spirit.

2Corinthians 3:16-18

This verse is for Peter. We pray for the Holy Spirit to 'unlock' his body and mind, and bless him with new, wonderful freedom.

 

(Photo by Junior Moran - Unsplash)

The Early Christians

He who rose to life through the Spirit had a strength that exploded in an utterly new attitude to life: love to brothers and sisters and love to one's enemy, the divine justice of the coming kingdom.

Quoted from The Early Christians by Eberhard Arnold. Opening chapter: The Witness of the Early Church

Do not Fear!

Do not Fear!

I will strengthen you and help you
I will uphold you
with my righteous right hand.

Sing to the Lord!

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;
make known among the nations
what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
(1Chronicles 16: 8-9, Psalm 105)
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