With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Make the sign of the cross, and say,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
If you have an advent wreath, light three candles for hope, peace, and joy, and pray:
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. The light no darkness can overcome.
Jesus, thank you for coming to dwell with me. Brighten the dark places in my life. Show me where you are working and teach me to respond with joy. Amen.
Word: Psalm 66:1
“Shout for joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.”
Children bring us joy because they do silly things. Wild things. Unexpected and sometimes foolish things. God also does wild and crazy things that leave us in awe. We can’t help but have joy when we see the unbelievable things he does.
When the roaring lion snuggles up to the lamb. Joy!
When it gets darker and darker and darker and darker . . . and then Jesus is born. Joy!
At the darkest time of year, when the sun sets at 4:37PM, followers of Jesus brighten the town with strings of light. Joy!
When Joseph cuts the umbilical cord and looks into the eyes of the helpless infant . . . and sees world’s King. Joy!
When there was a dirty animal feed box that belonged in a barn. That is what God chose for a crib! Joy!
A hill of skulls. A cross with blood on it. This is where God did his greatest miracle. There is where love was proven. Joy!
When you’re not worthy of God’s goodness because of everything you’ve done. And God says, “Come home. You’re forgiven. I want you back.” God has done mighty things! Wild, crazy, and unexpected things! Rejoice!
Prayer for Neighbors
· For my immediate geographical neighbors.
· For my community, neighborhood, town/city.
· For neighbors hurting from broken families, addiction, violence, abuse, poverty, sickness.
· For the eyes of the Good Samaritan, to see and help my neighbor in need.
O God of surprises, give us childlike wonder and awe. Make us giggle with joy over your amazing work. The manger, the cross, the crown: unexpected mercy. We shout for joy and sing glory to your name! Amen.