Good Wednesday. . . I am so happy to have the honor of posting on Sola Publishing now on Wednesdays. The theme for Wednesday's posts will be one of the most important aspects of our Christian life together (if not THE most important), worship. We worship God because he is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving!
So, it's ADVENT now. That time of anticipation for the church of Christ, as we wait and watch for Christ to come again. It is a wonderful opportunity for us as disciples to slow down the hectic pace of our journey, which is always easier said than done! The days are getting shorter, evening comes quicker, we have a tendency to want to hibernate. In the north the temperatures are getting much colder which means there is no grass to mow at least. What if we took this opportunity in Advent to focus ourselves on Christ's coming. . . during worship, but also at home? An Advent wreath for the family table would be a nice addition to the season's decor. Before dinner you could add a special prayer to your table blessing about waiting and watching and then light the candle(s) on the Advent wreath. You might even incorporate singing a verse of "Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah" into your evening ritual. Think of the memories you will create for your children!
Here are four evening prayers you could add to your family time:
Week One: Gracious, holy God, bless our family as we gather around this meal. May we be ever diligent to wait and watch for Christ's return. In the meantime, help us to see Jesus in our neighbor, in the injured and ill, in the lonely and distraught. We pray for all those who do not have food this night and those who are suffering. Grant them peace and provide for their needs. We light the first candle and give you thanks for the hope you bring to us through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Week Two: God of light and life, we give you thanks for all the good gifts you have given us. Be with us in our waiting and give us patience. Be with us in our watching and give us eyes to see. Be with us in our longing and fill our hearts with your never-failing love. Bless and strengthen our family so that we might be your faithful servants in the world. We light two candles and give you thanks for the love of Christ, who came to this earth to reunite humanity to you. In his name we pray, Amen.
Week Three: Holy One, we come before you this night in joy, knowing that you hear us, see us and attend to all our needs. By your mercy grant us grace to continue the journey to the manger, where we would meet Christ and he would live and reign in our hearts forever. We thank you for the great joy you give us and ask your care and protection over our family this night. We light three candles and recall the great gift you have given us, Jesus Christ who promised to come again and who continues to make all things new. Amen.
Week Four: God of peace, as we near the birth of our Lord, we ask that you would make your holy presence fully known to us. Be with us in our waking and in our daily work, be with us as we eat together, and be with us as we retire for the night. We are truly grateful for the peace you offer us through your dear Son, Jesus. We light all four candles on the Advent wreath and bask in the glow of the light of Christ. Amen.
May this season of Advent find you filled with hope, love, joy and peace as Christ Jesus draws you ever nearer to the divine heart.
Pastor Amy Little