Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 | Author:

simply Christmas coverTUESDAY

DAILY PSALM
God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets. Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
Psalm 47:5-6


CONNECTION

JOY PROJECTS
Are you ready to show the joy of Christ to your community?
This should be fun! Get your family together and talk over the ideas below for spreading the joy of our God to your neighbors, or create your own ideas.

HELP THE AXIOM
– Make a financial contribution to help sustain The Axiom’s efforts to help the youth of Oroville start to reach their potential and to have hope for a better future, and a better present. Make checks payable to “OroNaz Church” with “Axiom” written on the memo line. Put your donation into one of the envelopes in the back of the chairs at the worship service next sunday and then drop it into the offering.

– Donate new recreation and game items for students at The Axiom

– Begin to volunteer once a week at The Axiom.

For more information on The Axiom please contact Krysi Chastain at 530-693-8712 or Krysi@theaxiom.org

CHRISTMAS CAROLING
If caroling is already a family tradition or church tradition for you, then continue it. If not, then consider caroling to your neighbors this year.1

HANDMADE GIFTS
As gifts can be expensive, we are often selective in who we give to at Christmastime.  This year, choose a person, or several people who your family doesn’t normally give to, and make presents by hand for them.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS
Light the Advent Candles    Gospel Reading: Matt. 24:32-44

THE JOY OF PREPARING

Jesus makes it clear that no one except our heavenly Father knows the day or the hour in which Jesus will make his return. But this shouldn’t produce fear in us, it should keep us from unnecessary worry.  What a burden it would be to know when Jesus was going to return — we’d feel so much rush and urgency to make sure people knew about Jesus, that we might miss sitting in His presence.  Or perhaps it would cause panic for some people if they were worried about enjoying our earthly experience before Jesus was to come back.  Instead, we can find freedom in simply living as He’s taught us to live, and we can find joy in trusting His timing.

Jesus has given us commands about how to live in the meantime before his return, and in the gospel passage today He assures us that His words will never fade away.  He’s not just talking about His warnings about what the end of time as we know it will look like — He’s talking about His teachings and commands about how to love God and how to love others.  Those aren’t just things we need to know how to do here and now — the kingdom of heaven will require that love just as much as our lives now.

In a way, though, this gives us a joy that what we’re doing now isn’t just meaningless “meantime” work.  If Jesus’ words will never pass away, then the things He’s taught us to do, are truly important to start doing now.  If we waited until right before His return to learn how to love Him and love others, we won’t have been preparing ourselves for the kingdom of heaven, and we won’t have been partaking in Jesus’ heavenly practices for all the time that we could’ve been doing so.

We are to watch for Jesus’ return, not in fear, but in anticipation of finally getting the full experience of being in His presence and in His creation exactly as He intended it to be — without the scars of sin and pain. It’s a joy to prepare for His coming when the very preparation includes loving Him and loving others.


PRAYER

Christ, whose glory fills the skies; Christ, the true, the only Light — Sun of Righteousness, arise and triumph over the shades of night. Dayspring from on high, come near. Day-star, in my heart appear. 3

AMEN

Notes:

1)Adapted from Paul Sheneman, Illuminate: an Advent Experience. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill of Kansas City, 2011. Print.

3)Adapted from Charles Wesley, “Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies” (1740), Cyber Hymnal, http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/c/w/cwgfthes.htm.

Category: Advent
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