Monthly Archives: December 2014

You ain’t seen nothing yet! Advent 3, Year B, 14 December 2014

advent 3Yearly Rhythm

14 December, Advent 3, Year B;
Colour: Purple or Blue

What is Advent all about?

The Christian year begins with the season of Advent (“coming” or “arrival”).   The four Sundays preceding Christmas take us on this journey.  Although the focus of this season is the coming birth of Christ, it explores the revelation and coming of God to us in a much broader sense; a God seeking to draw humanity and all of creation into God’s uniting purposes.  The set readings focus on Christ’s coming to us in various ways and our need to be ready. There is a creative tension between His coming in the past, His present coming to us and His future coming to consummate all things.  It is all about anticipation and preparation.

Daily Rhythm

Making worship part of everyday

Devotional Diary    8 – 14 December 2014

Download the PDF here!

This week’s theme: Receiving Jesus as Lord
Revised Common Lectionary readings for this week, with thanks to www.gbod.org:

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11. The Spirit of the Lord anoints a prophet to bring good news to the oppressed, the broken-hearted, the captives, the prisoners, and the mourning — good news that includes “the day of vengeance of our God.” Why? None of these folks will get much good news unless the current social order is destroyed. When the current order is destroyed, rebuilding of God’s “ancient ruins” can begin (verse 4). In the meantime, the prophet rejoices, clothed in the hope this good news brings (verses 8-11).

Psalm 126. A Psalm of Ascent, one of the Psalms sung by pilgrims as they made their way to the temple after it was rebuilt after the return from exile, as prophesied by Isaiah.

I Thessalonians 5:16-24Final greetings include a prayer that the people may now be and remain “sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 23).

John 1:6-8, 19-28The witness of John the Baptizer concerning his own identity. He is clear he is not the Messiah. The Messiah would have an even more radical ministry than the one this baptizing prophet had introduced. “I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals” could be roughly paraphrased, “If you think I’m the Messiah or even claim to be, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Monday:

Adoration Focus: “He is the Lord and He reigns on high.” Kevin Prosch  (In our adoration focus this week we focus on words that we sing.)

Confession: “He is Lord, He is Lord.  He has risen from the dead and He is Lord. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”  This week allow God’s Spirit to examine your heart and show you where there is a stubbornness/sin that stops your knee from bowing and your tongue from confessing.  Then reflect on what your life could be as you proclaim Jesus as Lord and King.  Today’s focus: Caught on a treadmill.

The Word: Use the above Revised Common Lectionary readings or your own reading plan.

Seeking the Kingdom

Shared Focus: Pray for all those who know nothing of God’s love for  them.  Pray that this Christmas that love may penetrate their hearts.

Personal prayers: (Use this section to list people you need to pray for or situations of personal concern that you need to bring before God in prayer)

            Dedication: Today, be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Tuesday:

Adoration Focus: “To God be the glory great things he has done!” Fanny J Crosby

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Fear of loss of control.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for a world that needs to share God’s love with each other.   Pray that as we realise that all people are loved by God that we may in turn love each other.

Personal Prayers:

             Dedication: Today, be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Wednesday:

Adoration Focus: “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Kevin Prosch

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Love of comforts.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that God’s saving power may be known in our lives.   The biblical term “to save” carries with it the sense of being made whole.  Pray that you may know this wholeness in your life.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Today, be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Thursday:

Adoration Focus: “He is the King of kings, he is the Lord of lords.” Virgil Meares

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Fear of what you may become/miss out on.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for our world as we embrace the coming of the Prince of Peace.  Being aware of your world, pray God’s peace into any situation you are led to.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Today be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Friday:

Adoration Focus: “He has risen from the dead and He is Lord.” Kevin Prosch

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: The riches that the Lord has to offer you.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that on this day we may all know that Jesus is with us.  Pray this particularly for those who are in grief and alone at this time.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Today be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Saturday:

Adoration Focus: “Jesus is the Lord, my Master and my Saviour.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: The nature of the Lord of heaven and earth.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray for those whom the church sometimes chooses to “forget”.  Pray for the shut-ins, the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the powerless, the lost. Thank God that he never forgets.

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Today, be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Sunday:

Adoration Focus: “Lift Jesus higher, lift Jesus higher, life him up for the world to see: He said, “If I am lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.”

Confession: See Monday’s confession. Today’s focus: Falling down in worship before the Lord.

The Word:

Seeking the Kingdom:

Shared Focus: Pray that this day of rest may be one in which we are empowered by the God who has come to us.   In what way would you pray for this empowering in you life?

Personal prayers:

             Dedication: Today, be the cloud that leads me by day and the pillar of fire that leads me by night.  I will face you in every moment of this day: You are my Lord and King!

Weekly Rhythm

Exploring Scripture – joining our stories to God’s stories

Additional Comments, Questions and Prayers exploring the Readings. (Comments in italics with thanks to www.gbod.org)

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11. The Spirit of the Lord anoints a prophet to bring good news to the oppressed, the broken-hearted, the captives, the prisoners, and the mourning — good news that includes “the day of vengeance of our God.” Why? None of these folks will get much good news unless the current social order is destroyed. When the current order is destroyed, rebuilding of God’s “ancient ruins” can begin (verse 4). In the meantime, the prophet rejoices, clothed in the hope this good news brings (verses 8-11).

This passage gives us some pointers as to what God’s Kingdom is all about.  Using the passage draw up a picture of what this Kingdom will be like.  This is what Christ comes to usher in.  This is what we welcome and become part of as we receive Christ.

Waiting for the Kingdom

(inspired by Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18, Luke 1:47-55)

Lord, we wait with eager expectation for the coming of Your kingdom

when the humble will be exalted and the hungry fed.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done.
Lord, we prepare for Your advent with searching minds and contrite hearts,

trusting in Your healing spirit and redemptive love.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done.
Lord, we watch with those who wait and weep,

longing to see the rule of justice and the reign of peace.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done.
Lord, we seek You among the despised and rejected,

knowing that there we will find Your light shining in the dark.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done.
Lord, we proclaim sight to the blind and liberty to the oppressed,

trusting in Your tender mercy and passion for justice.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done.
Lord, we work with others to proclaim Your truth,

challenging the mighty and raising the meek.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done.
Lord, we wrestle with our hopes and our fears, our struggles and our joys

laboring with creation to come to new birth.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

~ Annabel Shilson-Thomas.  Posted on the Christian Brothers of the Midwest website.


Psalm 126. A Psalm of Ascent, one of the Psalms sung by pilgrims as they made their way to the temple after it was rebuilt after the return from exile, as prophesied by Isaiah.

What words do you sing on your way to worship?  What words does this psalm challenge you to sing on your way to worship? How would this change the way you worship?

 Call to Worship

(inspired by Psalm 126)

When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,

we were like those who dream.

Then our mouth was filled with laughter,

and our tongue with shouts of joy.

When the Lord raised Jesus from the dead,

we were like those who dream.

Now our mouths are filled with laughter,

and our tongues with shouts of joy.

The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoice.

May all those who have sowed in tears

reap with shouts of happy hilarity.

Hip hip hooray!

~ posted on the website of the Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church, Wichita, Kansas.   


I Thessalonians 5:16-24. 
Final greetings include a prayer that the people may now be and remain “sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 23).

As you read this passage list the advice given and see this list as pointing to how you may better receive your Lord who comes to you. Remember all this is possible because God is faithful (verse 24).


John 1:6-8, 19-28. 
The witness of John the Baptizer concerning his own identity. He is clear he is not the Messiah. The Messiah would have an even more radical ministry than the one this baptizing prophet had introduced. “I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals” could be roughly paraphrased, “If you think I’m the Messiah or even claim to be, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”       

This week we again visit John the Baptist.  Note this week the questioning of John the Baptist, the hesitation to heed his call into a baptism of repentance.  Here repentance is the call to prepare for the Lord.  Repentance is the turning from one way of life to another.  Turning from sin (living outside of God’s offer of abundant life) to embracing life offered in and through Christ.  Are you preparing to receive Christ in this way?  What would it mean for you to take John the Baptist’s call seriously?