Advent

Wonderful Advent Reflections written by a friend, they are so good I just had to share them

 

Advent reflections based on everyday objects.

Jo Neary, Advent 2015

 

Advent 1: a bunch of keys – hope                

Jeremiah 33: 14-16, Luke 21:25-36

 

The keys we use every day unlock and lock our houses keep them and us safe.  In prison the keys held by the wardens control the freedom of those locked inside.  The “key to something” is the best or only way to achieve something.

 

In the prophecy of Jeremiah 33:14-16 we hear how God will fulfil the promise made to Israel that they will be redeemed, that a new shoot will spring up, that the key to redemption and freedom is the justice and righteousness that Jesus will bring.  In Luke 21:25-36 we are reminded that the Kingdom of God breaking through on earth will bring huge change, we should expect that change to come and expect God to act in the world. The key to change in the world is Jesus and his Kingdom.

 

When you unlock your doors, pray that your heart will be unlocked to see the justice of Jesus at work in the world now. What can we do to live justly in the world today?  When you lock your doors at night, pray for those who are not free and for those who are imprisoned.  Come Lord Jesus.

 

Advent 2: a phone – God’s message to the world

Malachi 3:1-4, Luke 3:1-6

 

A phone means we can contact help when we need it.   A phone helps us keep in touch with loved ones.  A phone can send a message, a photo, a video and connect us to the rest of the world.

 

In Malachi we hear that God’s messenger comes to prepare the way for the Lord’s arrival. We are reminded that when the Lord comes there will be consequences, his presence will purify and refine the world.  The message in Luke is to get ready, to make our paths straight, to smooth out the rough bits, broadcast to the world that God is coming.

 

What message about God might we be able to tell in our lives?  How can we share something about Jesus with whoever we speak to regularly on the phone?  What blessing or prayer could you write in a letter or Christmas card this year?  Come Lord Jesus.

 

 

Advent 3: a glass of water – John the Baptist

Zephaniah 3: 14-20, Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3:7-18

 

When we turn on the tap fresh water gushes out.  Water to wash in, to clean things, to satisfy our thirst, to refresh our gardens.  Water sustains life.  What sustains us?

 

In Philippians we are reminded that instead of worrying we must pray.  Connection with God through prayer sustains our Christian journey and refreshes us.  In Luke we hear how John baptised with water, encouraging people to say sorry for all they have done wrong.  Jesus will baptise us with the Holy Spirit: we are forgiven and receive new life in Christ.  The Holy Spirit is God at work in our lives today.

 

Pour a glass of water and give thanks for the clean water that we have access to.  Pray for the whole world to have access to clean water.  Drink the water and feel refreshed.  Reflect on the things in your life you would like to be washed clean, say sorry for the things that are wrong. Drink again and know you are forgiven. What is God calling you to now?

Come Lord Jesus.

 

Advent 4: a towel – Mary

Micah 5:2-5a, Luke 1:39-45

 

A towel dries us after a bath, wipes our hands in the kitchen, mops up spills and even wraps up a new born baby.

 

Micah hints at the birth that is to come, the hard work and labour that will bring forth the shepherd for the flock.  Luke reminds us of the Holy Spirit at work in both Elizabeth and Mary and the way God uses his lowly servant Mary to fulfil his plan to fill the hungry, to scatter the proud and redeem his people.

 

For many people around the world a hot shower and a clean towel is just something to hope for.  As we use our towel today pray for those who are longing for safety and security: Lord lift up the lowly.  Think of a new born baby, wrapped securely in a towel and held tightly by his mother: the hope of new life is the hope that Jesus brings to his world.  What do you hope for the world? Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Bright star-maker God,

travel with us

through Advent

shine into our dark corners

 lead us into ways of justice

 warm us with joy and wonder

 bring us to new birth.                                         Ruth Burgess

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