Faith UMC Devotional Guide For Family / Home Worship
Taking Back Christmas: Letting Go of Perfect
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Faith United Methodist Church
Prayers: (Encourage each person to share names or situations to be lifted to God in prayer. For example – those without homes or power, the person who died in the Lake Lewisville bridge accident and their family, stranded motorists, etc.)
God, we long for your presence in the midst of our crazy lives. We need your peace, and want to trust in your promises.
Help us on this cold, icy day to hear your call to turn toward you, to change our lives, and to welcome you in.
Meet us here. Fill our minds with your wisdom and our hearts with your love so
our worship time together may open us to your leading and to your dream of wholeness for all people.
On this day when we gather to keep warm…when we choose to stay indoors to stay safe…
We ask that you be with us. We ask that you reach across the frozen miles that separate us from our churches and from the ones we love, and we ask you to make us one. We ask you to make us one in spirit and one in love. This morning, let us truly worship as the body of Christ united by your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, we pray.
Candle Lighting (If you have an Advent wreath, lite two candles. The first candle represents “Hope” that is recognized during the first week of Advent. During this second week of Advent, the candle represents “Love”.)
"The weeks leading up to Christmas are a time of preparation. Not just preparing for Christmas Day with decorating, shopping, and cooking, but preparing our hearts to receive the love of the One whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.
In Isaiah 35:5-6, the prophet declares that when God comes among us, the deaf shall hear, the blind shall see, and the tongue of the speechless shall sing for joy.
The second purple candle is a sign of God's LOVE in Christ that brings healing to us, and to the world. May we be a witness to the power of His healing love, in ourselves and in others.
We light this candle as a symbol of the love of Christ, and to remind us that His love came down at Christmas. "
Scripture Reading: (Luke 1: 26-38 Common English Bible)
Jesus’ birth foretold
26 When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, 27 to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” 29 She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. 31 Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. 33 He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I haven’t had sexual relations with a man?”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be called God’s Son. 36 Look, even in her old age, your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son. This woman who was labeled ‘unable to conceive’ is now six months pregnant. 37 Nothing is impossible for God.”
38 Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Special Music – Breath of Heaven (http://bit.ly/18fF5An)
Letting Go of Perfect by Pastor Rodney –Video http://bit.ly/1f9n85Y
- What is your vision of a perfect Christmas? What imperfect circumstances have or will you or others face this that will challenge your ability to celebrate Christmas fully?
- How do you think Mary felt in the months and days leading up to Jesus' birth? How can her experience of the first Christmas influence the way you approach the holiday season?
- How can you celebrate Jesus in the midst of your struggles? How can God use your struggles to help others this Christmas?
Close With Prayer
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