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 all four candles and pray:
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. The light no darkness can overcome.
O Love Incarnate, draw near to me this hour and throughout the day. Teach me to love as you love - fully, sacrificially, and with great joy. Amen.
Word: Luke 1:29-30
"When she saw the angel, she was troubled at his words. She thought about what had been said. The angel said to her, “Mary, do not be afraid. You have found favor with God,"
The angel said to Mary, do not be afraid. Most of the time when I think about meeting God or receiving a message from an angel, fear is not the first response that comes to mind. Excitement? Wonder? Joy? But probably not fear.
C.S. Lewis once wrote about the importance of reading old books, especially for certain kinds of books. According to Lewis, a person should read old books not because they are so much better than new ones or less prone to errors in thinking, but because they don’t contain the same errors in thinking that we are prone to in our day. Reading old books can help reveal and even challenge some of the assumptions we make about God, ourselves and how the world works.
In a similar way, it’s worth remembering that fear is the most common response that people have when they have an encounter with the living God or even one of his messengers. The Bible tells us that Moses, Isaiah, Mary, even the disciples, were afraid when they realized just who they were hearing from. Maybe fear in the presence of God is an appropriate response?
But it’s in those next words that the angel speaks to Mary that make all the difference. You have found favor with God. Our hearts may tell us that we have reasons to fear a holy, just, and all-powerful God. We have all sinned and broken our Creator’s perfect law. And yet, for the sake of Jesus, God has found favor with you. And so do not be afraid, but rather rejoice in the salvation of your God.
Prayer for Family
· For my immediate family (parents, spouse, siblings).
· For extended family (cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents)
· For close friends that are as family to me.
· For those who don’t have families, or whose families are broken.
· For forgiveness and reconciliation where there is division in my family.
· For provision where there is need in my family.
· For God to be the foundation, and the cross the center of my family.
· For a generation yet unborn, future members of our family.
Heavenly Father, you have spoken your word of favor and forgiveness to me. Send me with that same word to my family and friends that they might put their trust in your unfailing love. In Jesus’s name, amen.