The season of Advent is both one of looking back and one of looking forward. In one sense, it is a bit like going to the bookshelf and restarting your favorite book each year even though you know the ending.
In Advent, we spend four weeks recapturing the anticipation that was felt by followers of God for generations as they longed for the Messiah to come and undo the pain, suffering and loss of this world – and to usher in a new and better way.
We also look forward to the promise set before us by Jesus that He is coming back again to wipe away every tear and to make all things new.
Advent invites us to renew our HOPE. This season, we want to accept that invitation together as a family following the path of Jesus.
As you settle in with your Home Church, family or friends… let’s begin our time together this morning by slowing down, taking a deep breath and centering our hearts and minds on God’s love and presence with us
You can do this by taking a few deep breaths in and out and repeating a simple prayer such as “The Lord is my shepherd”
Breathe in slowly and deeply as you whisper or think:
“The Lord is my Shepherd…”
Hold your breath and your consciousness in God’s presence…
And then exhale as you whisper or pray:
“…I shall not want.“
There is worship on the broad video for this week to follow along with but if someone in your crew is able to lead a few songs – go for it!
Take a moment to practice generosity together. Read the liturgy below, and we invite you to give online here:
THERE IS NOTHING WE HAVE THAT WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED
TO SPEND EVERYTHING ON OURSELVES AND TO GIVE WITHOUT SACRIFICE IS TO WALK THE WAY OF DEATH
BUT GENEROSITY IS THE WAY OF THOSE WHO CALL JESUS THEIR LORD
WHO LOVE WITH FREE HEARTS AND SERVE WITH RENEWED MINDS
WHO WITHSTAND THE DELUSION OF RICHES
WE ARE DETERMINED TO INCREASE IN GENEROSITY UNTIL IT CAN BE SAID THAT THERE IS NO NEEDY PERSON AMONG US
WE ARE DETERMINED TO BE FAITHFUL STEWARDS OF SUCH A LITTLE THING AS MONEY THAT WE MAY JOIN GOD IN THE WORK OF RENEWAL
ABOVE ALL THINGS WE ARE DETERMINED TO BE GENEROUS BECAUSE OUR FATHER IS GENEROUS
IT IS THE DELIGHT OF HIS DAUGHTERS AND SONS TO SHARE THEIR FATHER’S TRAITS AND TO SHOW WHAT HE IS LIKE TO ALL THE WORLD.
announcements & message begin at 24:21
Spend a few moments discussing these questions together based on the message.
- Have you ever experienced a context where you felt like you just “fit in” or “belonged” somewhere really well? If so, Why?
- In what ways do you feel the tension of just not quite “fitting in” or “feeling at home” in this culture/world?
- Jesus invites us to set our hope (confident expectation) not in our current circumstances, but in Him. In this Advent season, what are some tangible ways that we can personally, and as a community, help each other set our hopes in Jesus?
We come to celebrate who you are, to acknowledge your greatness, and thank you for your love.
Come to the table, not because you must, but because you may. Come to testify, not that you are righteous, but that you sincerely love our Lord Jesus Christ and desire to be his true disciple. Come not because you are strong, but because you are weak and that you stand in constant need of God’s mercy and help. Come not to express an opinion, but to seek God’s presence and pray for the Spirit.
Hear the words of CONFESSION
“Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have “mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.”
words of ASSURANCE:
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.”
Therefore we proclaim our faith
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray,
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one”
Hear the words of our Lord Jesus Christ as they are delivered by the apostle Paul: “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’
Let us eat
In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’
Let us drink
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
May we, throughout our week remember Jesus Christ – given for the complete forgiveness of all our sins. May we Remember his presence with us. May we Remember his blessing upon us all.
Grace and peace be with you.
- SANCTUARY ADVENT DEVOTIONAL – The writers in our church came together to compose devotionals for Advent. *Save the link to your device’s home screen for easy web app access.
- ADVENT SPIRITUAL PRACTICES – Our team has created a document of some path practices that you might consider taking up this Advent. You can download that here.