Monday, December 12th

Longing:  An Advent Devotional Overland Park Church of the Nazarene Advent 2016 Monday, December 12th   CONNECT As we continue our journey in Advent, let us sing, pray, and study our hopes and promises for our Savior: Opening Prayer O God, be gracious to us; for you we wait. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. Shine your light into our hearts, and inflame them with your love. Amen.   Hymn Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung! Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as those of old have sung. It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter, when half spent was the night.     Isaiah ‘twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind; with Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind. To show God’s love aright, she bore to us a Savior, when half spent was the night. GROW:  Luke 1:46b-55     Imagine what Mary must have felt after being told by an angel of the Lord that she was chosen by God to miraculously be the mother of the savior of the world. Mary, a virgin pledged to be married, suddenly pregnant and facing the shame from what anyone—including her husband to be—would naturally assume to be immoral behavior. This is Mary’s situation as she journeys to see her relative, Elizabeth.     Under those circumstances, it would be no surprise for Mary to share with Elizabeth her feelings of uncertainty, questioning what the future would hold, wondering if what was happening to her was real. Instead, Mary’s response to Elizabeth is a song of praise to God, a song that has since been treasured by the church throughout the centuries.     Mary begins by praising God for what he has done for her. She then praises God for what he has done for all people. She finishes by giving praise to God for what he has done for the people of Israel. There is a sense in which Mary genuinely is overflowing with praise for her God. Had we been in a similar situation, we likely would find it difficult to praise God so unashamedly. So, why did Mary?     The key to Mary’s praise in the midst of her situation is revealed in the final verse, “according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” Because God has demonstrated time and again his steadfast love and faithfulness to his promises, Mary knows without a doubt that what the angel of the Lord promised her just days before, would indeed come to pass. And that is worth giving praise to God, no matter the circumstance, as we long with anticipation for the day when his promises to us will indeed be fulfilled. SERVE     Our God is faithful. But often times we don’t take the time to reflect on and recount the ways in which we have seen his faithfulness. Today, stop and reflect for five minutes, and write down at least one way that God has been faithful either to you, your friends and family, or someone in our community of faith. Then share that reflection with someone and praise God for the great things he has done. —Pastor Grant Christy

Longing:  An Advent Devotional

Overland Park Church of the Nazarene

Advent 2016

Monday, December 12th

 

CONNECT

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

Opening Prayer

O God, be gracious to us; for you we wait.

Be our strength every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.

Shine your light into our hearts, and inflame them with your love. Amen.

 

Hymn

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming

from tender stem hath sprung!

Of Jesse’s lineage coming,

as those of old have sung.

It came, a floweret bright,

amid the cold of winter,

when half spent was the night.

 

 

Isaiah ‘twas foretold it,

the Rose I have in mind;

with Mary we behold it,

the Virgin Mother kind.

To show God’s love aright,

she bore to us a Savior,

when half spent was the night.

GROW:  Luke 1:46b-55

    Imagine what Mary must have felt after being told by an angel of the Lord that she was chosen by God to miraculously be the mother of the savior of the world. Mary, a virgin pledged to be married, suddenly pregnant and facing the shame from what anyone—including her husband to be—would naturally assume to be immoral behavior. This is Mary’s situation as she journeys to see her relative, Elizabeth.

    Under those circumstances, it would be no surprise for Mary to share with Elizabeth her feelings of uncertainty, questioning what the future would hold, wondering if what was happening to her was real. Instead, Mary’s response to Elizabeth is a song of praise to God, a song that has since been treasured by the church throughout the centuries.

    Mary begins by praising God for what he has done for her. She then praises God for what he has done for all people. She finishes by giving praise to God for what he has done for the people of Israel. There is a sense in which Mary genuinely is overflowing with praise for her God. Had we been in a similar situation, we likely would find it difficult to praise God so unashamedly. So, why did Mary?

    The key to Mary’s praise in the midst of her situation is revealed in the final verse, “according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” Because God has demonstrated time and again his steadfast love and faithfulness to his promises, Mary knows without a doubt that what the angel of the Lord promised her just days before, would indeed come to pass. And that is worth giving praise to God, no matter the circumstance, as we long with anticipation for the day when his promises to us will indeed be fulfilled.

SERVE

    Our God is faithful. But often times we don’t take the time to reflect on and recount the ways in which we have seen his faithfulness. Today, stop and reflect for five minutes, and write down at least one way that God has been faithful either to you, your friends and family, or someone in our community of faith. Then share that reflection with someone and praise God for the great things he has done.

—Pastor Grant Christy