Wednesday, December 21st

Longing:  An Advent Devotional

Overland Park Church of the Nazarene

Advent 2016

Wednesday, December 21st

 

CONNECT

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

 

Opening Prayer

Loving God, we are thankful that you are the one who hears our prayer, that you are the one who redeems and guides us. As we celebrate the hope of this Advent season, help us to remember that you are the only one to whom we can look for help. Even when we neglect to turn to you, you do not give up on us. Open our hearts to the ways we experience your peace and hope, and help us to give you thanks. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

HYMN

As we continue to prepare our hearts for what God might speak to us today, sing the following song to the tune of "My Jesus, I Love Thee" or simply read in contemplation.

Hymn: “Great Shepherd who leadest Thy people in love”

By: Adoniram Judson Gordon, 1836-1895

 

1. Great Shepherd Who leadest Thy people in love,
'Mid cherubim dwelling, shine Thou from above;
In might come and save us, Thy people restore,
And we shall be saved when Thy face shines once more.

2. O haste, Lord, to hear us and pity our woes,
Affliction our portion, despised by our foes;
O Lord God Almighty, in mercy restore,
And we shall be saved when Thy face shines once more.

3. When Thou shalt revive us Thy Name we will praise,
And nevermore, turning, depart from Thy ways;
O Lord God Almighty, in mercy restore,
And we shall be saved when Thy face shines once more.

 

GROW:  Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

    In this Psalm, the people of Israel voice their despair at their circumstances, perhaps the destruction of Jerusalem. They remember how God had led them in the past and call on him once more to save them. In this era of Hebrew history, Israel had sinned repeatedly by turning away from God and relying on others to save. With their ill-placed trust, Jerusalem was destroyed and the people were exiled. In desperation, they returned to the God who created them, the God who had delivered them in the past and had promised to send a deliverer again. They call on God to reveal himself to them again. In this Psalm, we see Israel's hope for the Messiah.

How often do we trust in ourselves first without going to prayer? How often do we trust in our family, friends, job, or ability to help us when we find ourselves in need? We can learn from Israel's lament in this Psalm. It is God that we can turn to in every season of life. We, like Israel have hope in the Messiah. As we prepare to celebrate Christ's coming in just a few days, we are reminded that He has come among us, Emmanuel. Our help has come, we only need to look to Christ.

 

SERVE

    Our service is not just with our hands, but also with our prayers. Take a few moments to pray for those who find themselves in need. Pray for someone you know in need, then for others in our community who feel without hope. Pray for peace and provision for those who are worrying where they might sleep, what they will eat, or how they will support the people who depend on them. Pray for deliverance and restoration for those who feel trapped in abuse, addiction, or poverty. Pray also for those who have yet to trust God for their hope. Pray that God will open their hearts in this season to see the hope that Christ brings. Ask God to show you ways to offer the peace and hope of God to those who need it most. Close your prayer by giving thanks for all of the ways God has given you hope and help throughout your life.

—Pastor Rachel Shald