Psalm 100:1-2, 4-5 NIV 1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Philippians 1:3-5 NIV 3 I thank my God every time I remember you.4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
“The wonderful by-product of prayer and thanksgiving is joy. We are most joyful when we are living the life of prayer and thankfulness. If we lack joy, it may be that we are not praying or being as thankful as we ought. Prayer, thanks, and joy – these are the marks of Advent people. This is what we do and how we live as Advent people!” (P. George)
Prayer: God, thank you that you have called us to live as Advent people. As we commit to prayers of thanksgiving, may your joy overflow into every aspect of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Let’s continue to respond in worship as we sing “Let Your Fire Fall” by Planet Shakers (click here).
1 Corinthians 1:7-9 NIV 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
“God has called them in the past, God equips them in the present and God will complete the process in the future. World history, and the story of the Christian life, has a shape, and Jesus is its shaper at every point.” [NT Wright, Advent for Everyone.]
Waiting is not easy – whether it is waiting for fast food or waiting for food delivery – it’s so easy to be impatient and want things done immediately. But as Advent people, God has called us to wait on him. This waiting is not a passive waiting, but an active, expectant waiting, where we hope and trust in God’s faithfulness. And it is God’s faithfulness that draws us to fellowship with Jesus so that we can live moment by moment eagerly waiting on him.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your faithfulness that draws us into fellowship with Jesus. We confess that waiting is not easy, but help us today to eagerly and actively wait on you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Let’s thank the Lord as we sing “Hearts Waiting” by Matt Redman (click here).
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV 16 Rejoice always,17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
“If Advent People is who we are, then thanksgiving is what we do. And we live in thankfulness through prayer. Prayer and thankful living are intricately tied together. You can’t have thankfulness without prayer, and can’t have prayer without thankfulness.” (P. George)
“The whole of the thanksgiving is God-oriented and Christ-centered. Everything comes from God and is given in Christ Jesus.” [Gordon Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians.]
Take a minute to reflect upon God’s goodness and faithfulness this past year. In what ways can you see God’s work in your life? In your missional group? In your campus? In your marriage? In your family and children? God has been so good to us! May thanksgiving and praise erupt from your life today!
Prayer: God, you are so good. We stand amazed at your love and mercy in our lives and how you are moving in our midst. Thank you for calling us to participate in your kingdom work. We love you, Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Let’s worship and sing to “God You’re So Good” by Passion (click here).
1 Corinthians 1:8-9 NIV 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
“We celebrate Jesus’ first coming, and use that sense of fulfilment to fuel our hope for his second coming and to strengthen us to work for signs of that kingdom in our own day. We live between the first Advent and the second. That is one way of saying what it means to be a follower of Jesus.” [NT Wright, Advent for Everyone.]
Church, we are to be an Advent people not just in December, but every single day of the year. We live as Advent people because of the transforming work of Jesus in the first advent and the hopeful anticipation of the second advent. As we live in the ‘midst’ of the first advent and second, Jesus comes in the ‘midst’ of our life, story, and circumstances.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for saving us and for forming us as your people. As we look forward to what is to come, may Jesus be at the center of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Let’s worship the Lord by singing “The Lord Is My Salvation” by Keith and Kristyn Getty (click here).
John 14:3 NIV I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Acts 1:11 NIV This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.
“‘Advent’ means ‘arrival’ or ‘coming’ and specifically the ‘arrival of a notable person, thing or event.’ In our Christian calendar, Advent represents several weeks leading up to Christmas and the early Christians developed the ‘church’s year’ as a way of telling, learning and reliving the story of Jesus. NT Wright likens the Christian calendar to a bicycle. The wheels spin round and round, but the bicycle is moving forward, not standing still. The Christian calendar wasn’t just meant to repeat over and over, but signal a forward movement and towards the things to come. So what we celebrate every December is not just the first advent, but we are also anticipating the second advent when Jesus returns.” (P. George)
Let’s remember what this advent season is truly about – not only that Jesus came into this world, but that we can look forward to what is to come and participate in God’s purpose!
Prayer: Lord, we celebrate you today! Help us to live for you today in the here and now, as we look forward to what is to come. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship the Lord to “Even So Come” by Passion (click here).