Week 3: Sunday
Prayer for the Advent Wreath
Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
"(The desert) will bloom with abundant flowers and rejoice with joyful song." "Rejoice in the Lord always!" "Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!"
The Scriptures for the Third Sunday of Advent proclaim their message in no uncertain terms: Rejoice! Joy is all around us and our celebration of Advent calls us to discover it. The joy that the Scripture passages speak about is not a joy that equates with hilarious laughter. It is a joy that comes from a security with our God, those around us, and our place in the world. It is the joy Isaiah describes when he writes, "I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul." It is a joy that cannot be bought or obtained from artificial highs. It is a joy that comes from our living faith in a living God.
It is the joy we feel as we approach the birth of our Savior and remember the awesome beauty of what happened on that cold Bethlehem night.
Week 3: Monday
When He had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached Him as He was teaching and said, "By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?" (Matthew 21:23)
The question of authority always followed Jesus. Different groups and individuals would try to ask Him difficult questions to trick Him and make Him look stupid in front of the crowds who listened to His teaching. It is clear that Jesus derived His authority from an unshakable inner knowledge of His relationship to the Father. Do we have confidence in our relationship with God so that we can speak the truth as we see it? Or do we expect the Church or some other authority to speak for us?
Make something (bake a cake, draw a picture, cut out a cartoon) to cheer someone up or as a means of sharing the spirit of the season.
Lord, make me confident anew of Your great gift of faith that I may tell others of Your goodness.