This is Advent. We celebrate a coming. We celebrate an arrival. The arrival of a baby boy born in a stable. A baby, yet a king. The arrival of new life to a young, bewildered couple. The arrival of new life for you and me. The arrival of a new kingdom.
The Arrival of Grace
Grace is here. Grace came down, in the form of a baby, not only to Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, but to you and me. Today.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Luke 2:40 “And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.”
SEE ALSO: 4 Prayers to Pray as a Family during Advent
John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Romans 1:4-6 “and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.”
Hebrews 2:9 “But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”
1 Peter 1:2 “who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”
SEE ALSO: An Advent Prayer to Love Like Jesus
The Arrival of Love
Not just any love… I “love” ice cream or I “love” the beach. But, the arrival of True Love. The truest and greatest ever known. The unconditional, never-gives-up kind of love.
Lamentations 3:22 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”
Mark 10:21 “Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
SEE ALSO: 12 Advent Prayers – Reflect on Jesus!
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 15:13 ”Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The Arrival of Peace
Peace in a Person… peace that can’t be explained… peace that comes in the middle of the storm and passes all understanding. Peace that envelops our hearts when we need it most. When we need Him most.
Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
Isaiah 26:12 “Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.”
Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Ephesians 2:14 “For He himself is our peace…”
The Arrival of Life
Life more full and abundant than we ever could have known on our own. Life forgiven and free. A new life… a new heart… a new beginning.
Matthew 10:39 “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
Matthew 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
John 1:4 “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.”
John 3:14 “so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
With the Advent season upon us, we eagerly await the arrival of the Newborn King. We can eagerly await, with hope and assurance, the promise of a Savior who will one day return for us yet again!
When we look to Jesus and celebrate His advent, we remember WHY He was sent to earth to begin with. We realize that with His coming, we’ve been given so very much. Isaiah 61 is a prophecy telling us exactly what He came for…
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)
Advent… the arrival of a baby. A baby who means so very many things to us. A baby who is the gift of grace. The gift of love. The gift of peace. The gift of life. And so much more…
He was. He is. He will be. Forevermore.
Candace Crabtree is just a broken mama thankful for grace and new mercies every morning. She and her husband live in East Tennessee where they homeschool their 3 kids. Candace also enjoys teaching piano, coffee, good books and blogging at His Mercy Is New. On her blog she shares encouragement for weary women from God’s Word along with resources for learning to pray the Scriptures.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: November 18, 2016
The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer for all seasons. But it comes to us with particular pastoral urgency during Advent and Christmas.
By: John D. Witvliet
Advent is the season built around the petition your kingdom come. It is the season for lifting our sights beyond daily anxieties and troubling news headlines to anticipate the fullness of God’s coming kingdom. It is the season for Mary’s Magnificat and Isaiah’s prophecies of cruciform beauty and shalom.
Though not as prominent in worship today, Advent is also built around the petition save us from the time of trial. It is the season for anticipating the “day of the Lord,” the day of the refiner’s fire, in which “ the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple” (Mal. 3:1). Faced with the prospect of this day, the children of God cling not to their own strength, but place their confidence fully in the One who comes to save.
In fact, each petition of the Lord’s Prayer takes on urgency and beauty when interpreted in light of the advent of our Lord. Jesus, the Son of God, is the one who teaches us to pray “our Father.” In Jesus’ appearing, we sense that hallowing God’s name and doing God’s will are matters of concrete obedience. In Jesus, we see not only one who provides daily bread for the crowds, but is our Bread of Life. In Jesus, we find the author of our forgiveness, the one who makes possible our forgiveness of others. Truly, this Christ is the King of Glory.
All of this is possible because of the mystery of the incarnation. The Word becomes flesh. Earth glimpses heavenly beauty. In the words of Richard Crashaw : “Heaven in earth, and God in man.” As with the incarnation, the Lord’s Prayer places us, as it were, before a great vertical axis between heaven and earth. We pray that God’s will be done “on earth as in heaven.” We pray that the God of heaven will send us daily bread. We begin by hallowing God’s name and end by extolling God’s power and glory.
It is this heavenward look that gives us particular pause in North America today. Writers Dallas Willard and N.T. Wright suggest that unnecessary confusion about heaven is the source of our most significant spiritual anxieties. We often live, work, and worship as if heaven were light years away, even though scripture teaches us that Jesus permeated the heaven and earth boundary in his advent and that God’s Spirit and our prayers and songs permeate this boundary all the time. As far as spiritual diseases are concerned, the season of Advent and the Lord’s Prayer may be among the most strategic inoculations we could discover.
May God’s Spirit strengthen us all this Advent season, so that—in the words of Thomas Troeger’s
anthem—“when we offer Jesus’ prayer, our hearts may fill with grace.”
- Advent prayer based on the Lord’s Prayer
- Service of Lessons and Carols: “On Earth as in Heaven”
- The Paradox of Christmas
Published: October 22, 2010 Resource Type: Article Category: Worship- Planning, Christian Year Occasion: Advent Task: Plan Worship, Research a topic Tags: advent, lord’s prayer
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ:
As we travel the season of Advent, preparing for our Lord’s return, I am writing to ask you to pray daily for God to intervene in the horrific persecution and refuge crisis facing the world. Nearly 12 million people have lost their homes, possessions, jobs, and sense of belonging as they desperately migrate for safety. 7.6 million are displaced within Syria, and 4 million are in neighboring countries.
Please pray for these refugees daily, and in your corporate worship on Sundays.
Please pray for the leaders of our nations as they seek to do the right thing in the right way.
Please pray for their persecutors – that they would be stopped, and that they would encounter our risen Lord Jesus.
I would also ask you to let your congregation know how they can help with resource needs. The Anglican Relief and Development Fund has partnered with World Relief which is providing help on the ground to those in need.
Click here to see ARDF’s appeal to help
Below is a prayer that I am asking to be prayed in our churches during the Seasons of Advent and Christmas.
LORD JESUS CHRIST our Refuge and Deliverer, Who as a child sought refuge in Egypt while fleeing from those who would persecute and harm You. Remember those today who must flee in the same manner, and find themselves in foreign and strange lands, granting them your Presence, your protection, and your provision. Illuminate us to be a shining light upon a hill amidst the dark evil in our world, that we may do our part with hospitality and resources, and that all who are refugees might be led to the brightness of Your redemptive love made present by Your glorious Incarnation, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Thank you for your prayers!!!
Your brother in Jesus Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America
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During this time in Advent let us not forget the Heart that holds Our Dearest Savior who came into this world to free us from sin.
Pray this prayer to Mary written by Pope Pius XII.
Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.
Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.
O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.
We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love.
Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.