simply Christmas coverTUESDAY   — HOPE

Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
Psalm 5:1-3
Are you ready to dive in and start embodying hope in our community?  Below are some suggestions of ways that your friends and family can get involved and begin to share our hope with the community, and to embody that hope to those in need. Talk these ideas over together and decide on something that you can all do. Maybe you can even start a new tradition that can continue on for years to come.

Make a financial contribution to help them keep their ministry to our community running. Make checks payable to “OroNaz Church” with “Hope Center” 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 food and clothing to the Hope Center. Donations are graciously accepted Tues-Fri from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at 1950 Kitrick Ave, Bldg A, Oroville.
Contact them about volunteering your time to help their ministry keep going strong. For more information visit or call 538.8398

Invite a friend or acquaintance who doesn’t have someone to celebrate with into your family for Advent and Christmas.1

Go out and rake your neighbor’s lawn. You can do it stealthily, but even if you get caught, it’ll still be a blessing to them.

As a family, plan and shop for materials and make an Advent wreath together. Make it as simple or as complex as you want.  Visit for a simpler idea, or google “How to make Advent wreath” for more creative tips and ideas.

Light the Advent Candle    Gospel Reading: Matt. 21:12-22


The gospel passage for today is a reminder of what we have already acknowledged, that the world is a broken place.  In the first part of the passage we see Jesus throwing people out of the temple courts because they are abusing what is meant to be a place of healing, worship, and purification. Later we see Him using His power to curse a tree that’s not doing what it was made to do – bear fruit.

These passages are good for us to think about in this time of year.  Because we live in a broken world, it’s a given that all of our relationships with our friends and family are not necessarily as healthy as they should be.  Many of us have broken relationships that carry with them lots of pain and resentment.  The thing is, though, that we are made to be relational. We are made to do life with other people, just like a fig tree is made to bear fruit, and just as the temple is made to be a place of worship and sacrifice, not sales and scams.

As we continue on this Advent path, keep in mind that we believe and have faith and hope in a God who can restore us to what we were made for.  In the middle of these two scenes of Jesus punishing the people and the tree for not doing what they were made for, we also see Him healing those who come to Him seeking help.  As we are ready to become the healthy, relational people we were made to be, let us come to Jesus with our hope in His ability to heal our wounds in our relationships and to help us to forgive, and to try to move forward in love.  It may not happen overnight, it may not even happen this year — but Jesus tells us the power of faith and hope in this scripture and He assures us that God has the ultimate power to do even what we think to be impossible. Let’s hope for the healing of our relationships and put our trust in God’s ability to help us live like we were made to live — in community with one another.

O LORD, we thank you for being a relational GOD, and we come to you seeking your healing.  Heal us and make us new. Help us to forgive, so that we may be forgiven. Help us learn to love each other like You have loved us. We put our hope for health in You.



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