Advent 2012: December 2 – 25

When you were in elementary school, do you remember making paper chains so each day you could tear off one link as you dreamily and excitedly anticipated Christmas? In later years, I discovered Advent calendars with little windows that opened to reveal something written behind the shutter. Last week when visiting my former church, Temple Hill Baptist in Cadillac, Michigan, a friend gave me an Advent plan for a daily Bible reading and ceremony to celebrate each day in advent and be thankful for the true meaning of the Christmas season.  I’m sharing in case you want the blessing in front of you every day to keep your spirit content and joyful.  There are actually four themes,  one each week.  Faith, Hope, Joy, Peace

If you want to read just the scripture, you’ll find the list of Bible passages following the list of items you’ll need if you want to experience the full celebration with a candle lighting ceremony. You can purchase a wreath made of fire-proof materials, if you wish.  I’m just using the five candles:  3 purple votives, 1 rose colored votive, 1 white pillar candle

If you don’t have a Bible and want me to send you the scriptures, please leave a comment and I will send them to you.  You can also look up these passages online; one easy place is: http://www.biblegateway.com/ 

December 2nd:          Faith – Light 1 purple candle

Prayer: God we are blessed with the gift of faith, and we thank you for that gift. As we light this candle, help us to trust in you and say “yes” with all our hearts.  Amen

December 2 – Sunday     Isaiah 40:1-5
December 3 – Monday     Isaiah 52:7-10
December 4 – Tuesday     Isaiah 40:9-11
December 5 – Wednesday    Genesis 3:8-15
December 6 – Thursday     Genesis 15:1-6
December 7 – Friday     Deuteronomy 18:15-19
December 8 – Saturday     Psalms 89:1-4

December 9th:          Hope – Light 2 purple candles

Prayer: God, in faith we find hope. As we light the candles of faith and hope, we remember and believe in your promises to us. We give you all our struggles this day. May we always find our hopt and help in your son Jesus. Amen

December 9 – Sunday     Isaiah 11:1-10
December 10 – Monday     Zechariah 6:12-13
December 11 – Tuesday     Micah 5:2-4
December 12 – Wednesday    Malachi 3:1-6
December 13 – Thursday     John 1:1-8
December 14 – Friday     John 1:9-18
December 15 – Saturday     Mark 1:1-3

December 16th:          Joy – Light 2 purple candles and 1 rose candle

Prayer: God, as we light these candles, we thank you for all the blessings in our lives. You have done great things for us.  In you we find faith, hope and great joy.  We thank you for the gift of our family and the joy we share.  Amen

December 16 – Sunday     Luke 1:5-13
December 17 – Monday     Luke 1:14-17
December 18 – Tuesday     Luke 1:18-25
December 19 – Wednesday    Luke 1:39-45
December 20 – Thursday     Luke 1:46-56
December 21 – Friday      Luke 1:57-66
December 22 – Saturday     Luke 1:67-80

December 23rd:          Peace – Light 3 purple candles and 1 rose candle

Prayer: God, you have given us faith, hope, and joy. Forgive us for the times we have made poor choices. In you we find true peace.  Help us to live the peace of your Son in our hearts, in our family, and in our world.  Amen

December 23 – Sunday     Isaiah 7:10-14
December 24 – Monday     Luke 1:26-35

December 25 – Tuesday     Isaiah 9:2-7  On Christmas day, the theme is LOVE:  Light 3 purple candles, 1 rose candle, and 1 white candle.  Prayer: Jesus, be born in our hearts today and fill us with your love.  You are the Light of the World, our hope, and our joy.  You came into a world of darkness and sin to save us.  Because of you, we are now called children of the light. Help us to live lives worthy of your love. Amen

December 26 – Wednesday    Matthew 1:18-25
December 27 – Thursday     Luke 2:1-20
December 28 – Friday     Matthew 2:1-2
December 29 – Saturday     Luke 2:21-35

God bless you on your journey to experience faith, hope, joy, peace, and love this season.  Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXH2lvt5YMA

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