We are looking forward to lighting our final candle this week! We’ll be premiering the weekly devotional video at 6pm on Saturday and it will be available to watch here and on our YouTube channel. We hope to all light our third candle, the candle of Love, together on Sunday, December 18th during the video at 6pm. However, if that time frame doesn’t work for you, that’s totally ok. The video will be available anytime after that! If you received one of our advent kits, you can follow along in your devotional book. If you didn’t get an advent kit, below you’ll find the scriptures, prayers, and some other tools to help you participate in Advent at home.
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
Almighty God, you have invited us to love you and to love others. We know love because you have loved us. We celebrate, in this season, divine love becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Your love is not sentimentality. You love us too much to leave us in brokenness. Your love tells us the truth about our lives but also extends unmerited grace. Your love will not let us go. We are loved. Your Spirit empowers us to love. Because we are loved by you, we can risk loving others. Forgive us for our misdirected loves. We have too often learned to love the wrong things. Have mercy on us for allowing our fears to get in the way of your love. Teach us to love you fully. Help us set aside our fears so that we might love even our enemy. May the world know that there exists a God of incarnation love because they see that love made real in and through us.
Mary was carrying the greatest gift ever given. LOVE in the form of a baby was growing inside her belly. She praises God for His mercy and His love in choosing to use her in this way.
• How has God shown you mercy?
• How has God shown you His love?
• How can you praise God for his mercy and love in your life? Like Mary, spend a few minutes telling God how much you appreciate His love and mercy and how much you love Him back.
• We are a little like Mary in that we also carry Jesus with us each day. Think about that for a minute. Dwelling within us is the same LOVE that dwelt within Mary…growing larger and larger each day. How does this knowledge change how you might go about your normal day-to-day life?
• Who do you know that could use a little extra love today? How can you share the love that’s within you with them?