Advent

Read daily Advent devotions by friends of College Park!

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    Advent Calendar 2017

    Advent Calendar December 3                 Advent 1 December 10               Advent 2 December 13               Love Feast Service in Chapel featuring  Market Street                                                       Brass, 6:30 pm December 17               Advent 3 December 20              Christmas Banquet, 5:30 pm* December 24              Advent 4, 10 am Service in Chapel Christmas Eve                                               …

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    Advent Devotional – December 25

    Advent Week 4: Love December 25 1 John 3.1-2, NRSV See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when God is revealed, we will be like God, for we will see God as God is. They got it on tape, the quintessential moment where I am clearly my mother’s daughter. 24 Christmases ago, I was 3 and still the star…

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    Advent Devotional – December 24

    Advent Week 4: Love December 24 Luke 2.15-20, NRSV When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising…

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    Advent Devotional – December 23

    Advent Week 4: Love December 23 Matthew 19:14-15, NRSV Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ And he laid his hands on them and went on his way. Children are exhausting.  I spend a lot of my time trying to keep my daughter corralled when in public.  I’m self-conscious about letting this giant energy suck that I live with drain the life forces of innocent bystanders, so I say a lot of “stay over heres” and “get out of theres” and “please stand by mes”.  I would no doubt have…

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    Advent Devotional – December 22

    Advent Week 4: Love December 22 Deuteronomy 30. 15-18 See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you…

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    Advent Devotional – December 21

    Advent Week 4: Love December 21 Matthew 22. 34-38, NRSV When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. I have always understood Jesus’ answer to this lawyer’s question to be the answer that the lawyer expected. Jesus gave the same answer that any first century Jew would have given to…

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    Advent Devotional – December 20

    Advent Week 4: Love December 20 John 13.34-35, NRSV I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’ At this point in the season, how many items are left on your to-do list for the holidays? Mine is still missing quite a few check marks, to be certain. I’m a list-maker, and proud of it. I’m pretty sure it’s a genetically inherited trait, as I come from a healthy line of list-lovers. Packing lists for trips, shopping lists, work…

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    Advent Devotional – December 19

    Advent Week 3: Joy December 19 Psalm 131, NRSV A Song of Ascents. Of David. O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,    my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things    too great and too marvellous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul,    like a weaned child with its mother;    my soul is like the weaned child that is with me. O Israel, hope in the Lord    from this time on and for evermore. I love Christmas!  I love the giving and the receiving!  I love sharing good surprises with family and friends.  There is no better time each year than the week of Christmas.…

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    Advent Devotional – December 18

    Advent Week 3: Joy December 18 Mark 10:23-27, NRSV  Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were greatly astounded and said to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible,…

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    Advent Devotional – December 17

    Advent Week 3: Joy December 17 1 Corinthians 1.20-25 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness…

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    Advent Devotional – December 16

    Advent Week 3: Joy December 16 John 1:1-5, New English Translation In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God.  The Word was with God in the beginning.  All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.  In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.  And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it “Wine from water is not so small, But an even better magic trick Is that anything is here at all. So the challenging thing becomes Not to look for miracles But…

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    Advent Devotional – December 15

    Advent Week 3: Joy December 15 Matthew 11.28-30, NRSV Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. My heart was full, cluttered with fear, dread, and frustration.  My sister and I were exhausted and broken hearted. The appointment with the only doctor who could help us had been made months before from a few states away.  After all the waiting and expensive travel, we…

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    Advent Devotional – December 14

    Advent Week 3: Joy December 14 Matthew 6.25-30, NRSV  ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they…

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    Advent Devotional – December 13

    Advent Week 3: Joy December 13 Philippians 4.4-7, NRSV Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. As I sit and reflect on this passage, it’s autumn; a few weeks before the beginning of Advent. The smell of the season is thick in the air. The trees are inviting us to pause and gaze at their…

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    Advent Devotional – December 12

    Advent Week 2: Peace December 12 Psalm 1:1-3, NRSV Happy are those    who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread,    or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord,    and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees    planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season,    and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. I have seen lots of trees in my life from the majestic Redwoods in Northern California, the Black Forest trees in the Dakotas to the familiar Pine…

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    Advent Devotional – December 11

    Advent Week 2: Peace December 11 Micah 6.8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good;    and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,    and to walk humbly with your God? Before we can get to our verse today, let me remind you what is going on in Micah Chapter 6.  It seems that we have entered into a heated trial between God and some ungrateful people.  The prophet, Micah, is representing God’s case and reminding the community all that God had done for them.  God has redeemed God’s people from slavery so that they may know God’s saving act.  All their attention is…

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    Advent Devotional – December 10th

    Advent Week 2: Peace December 10 1 Timothy 6.17-19, NRSV As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life. This fall I’ve found myself often engaging students with two seemingly unrelated concepts — Privilege and Mindfulness —…

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    Advent Devotional – December 9th

    Advent Week 2: Peace December 9 1 Thessalonians 5. 12-14, NRSV But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labour among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. As a young minister, I thought that attending EVERY event that occurred around our church during the Christmas season was required.  One week before Christmas, we attended four worship services, eight Sunday School class parties, two Mall…

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    Advent Devotional – December 8th

    Advent Week 2: Peace December 8 Ephesians 4.1-6 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Nothing is more simple, more elemental,…

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    Advent Devotional – December 7th

    Advent Week 2: Peace December 7 Colossians 3:16-17, NRSV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Christmas tree, trimmed and decorated Christmas décor outside Nativity’s placed carefully throughout the house Christmas plates, napkins, dishtowels, candles Cute Christmas clothing for the child A calendar that fills up with Christmas programs meals, office and school events Finding places to rest and soak in…