Wednesday, November 30th

 

Longing:  An Advent Devotional

Overland Park Church of the Nazarene

Advent 2016

Wednesday, November 30th

CONNECT

As we continue our journey in Advent, let us sing, pray, and reflect our hopes and promises for our Savior:

Opening Prayer

O Lord, we long for the day when our feet will stand within the gates of the New Jerusalem. Until then, as we journey toward home, guide and protect your church: be our unity, clothe us in truth, and keep us in your peace. We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.

A Litany for Peace in Places of Conflict

God of righteousness and peace,

    grant us your peace.

When warfare haunts our streets,

    grant us your peace.

When anxieties haunt our minds and hearts,

    grant us your peace.

For the people around the world and in our own city

who face the fear and violence of conflict today,

    grant us your peace.

Turn our hearts toward the Prince of Peace, we pray,

    grant us your peace.

GROW:  Psalm 122

Psalm 122 is a song of praise and prayer voiced by a pilgrim who likely has just arrived in the holy city of Jerusalem. The pilgrim has come to Jerusalem to worship at one of the festivals. As the pilgrim stands among fellow travellers, he breaks out into joyful celebration.

The pilgrim begins by recounting the gladness of the moment when the suggestion was made to journey to Jerusalem, and the joy of finally standing within its gates. The pilgrim praises Jerusalem as the mighty stronghold of the Lord where all the tribes of Israel find unity. The pilgrim ends with a prayer of peace and prosperity for Jerusalem because the welfare and safety of the holy city was the key to the blessing of the whole community.

 

Through this psalm, we catch a glimpse of a pilgrim’s warmth of religious emotion at the thought of being present in the holy city, the very place where the people of God would experience the favor and blessing of the Lord. May we experience a similar sense of warm longing for the day we set foot in the New Jerusalem, in the peaceful presence of God.

SERVE

    The pilgrim sought the welfare of Jerusalem and its inhabitants by offering a simple blessing of peace. “For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, ‘Peace be with you’” (v. 8). Find at least one person—in your family or at work or school—and offer that simple blessing of peace to them today, either in person, via text, or by note. “Peace be with you.”

—Pastor Grant Christy