Advent 2013 Menu: Resources, Prayers, Devotionals

November 30, 2013

Advent3Note: this entry is “sticky” and will remain at the top of the blog throughout Advent.  Look for new entries below this post.

Advent begins this year on Sunday December 1.  I can’t promise daily Advent entries, but I hope to be able to blog quite frequently, sharing Advent resources, prayers, worship music, devotionals and reflections on Scripture.

All new Advent posts for 2013 can be found with our Advent 2013 tag
For all Advent entries past & present, here’s our Advent category.

Our Advent Subcategories include: Advent Devotionals Advent FavoritesAdvent Prayers, Advent QuotesAdvent ResourcesAdvent: Family & Children


Update 1:  I’ve decided I will try to post an entry most evenings in Advent with a short reflection on one of the daily lectionary Scripture passages, a prayer, and a worship song.  I’m calling the series Advent Vespers.

By Request: here’s a quick link to our 2013 Anglican Advent Resources post

Update 2:  Because I’m focusing a lot on Advent Music this year, here’s the link for all our posts containing Advent worship musicand here is our 100 Song Advent Playlist Compilation for 2013.  ENJOY!

An Advent exhortation from Bp. Charlie Masters: AWAKE!

November 29, 2013

Bishop Charlie Masters (Anglican Network in Canada) has written a good Advent letter, which I found on the Anglican Essentials blog.  It’s a good exhortation and encouragement to us all, here’s an excerpt (emphasis mine).

Thankfully, Romans 13, the first Epistle for the First Sunday of Advent, almost like an alarm clock interrupts the peaceful repose which is our lives and begins the church year with these words; “And do this, understanding the present time: the hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11).

It is no accident or should be no surprise that it is difficult to keep fresh a joyful anticipation of the return of Christ which drives us to a changed life in the light of Christ’s return. Peter, in his second epistle makes it clear that the agenda of the evil one and the active and sometimes subtle mocking of the scoffer is to lull Christians into a kind of sleep about the return of Christ. Our flesh wants to sleep.

In 2 Peter 3:3-10, Peter says:

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation’. But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s Word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged, and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and Earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”

Dear friends, I exhort you and encourage you to make use of the brief days of Advent not only to prepare rightly to celebrate the birth of Jesus but more importantly to prepare our lives for the glorious return of that same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, lived and died on a Cross, rose from the dead, ascended to heaven and soon, very soon will return, the culmination of all things and all his promises.

Let us ask ourselves questions, each day of Advent, as we go through the Scriptures:

  • Is it possible that I am asleep?
  • In what ways am I, potentially, dozing off with regards to the return of Christ?
  • What does “awake” look like in terms of the return of Christ?
  • And how can I grow in being alert and prepared for his return?

The collect for Advent Sunday which is to be used every day and is based also on Romans 13 says this:

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, now and ever. Amen

My prayer for you and me is that this Advent we will awake to a the full meaning, real transformation of life and joyful anticipation of the Return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

If you would like to follow along please use the Advent 2013 daily scripture readings.

What great questions for us all to ponder this Advent.  May the Lord increase in us a longing for and an expectation of His return which changes how we live each day!

Matthew 20:25-28

November 29, 2013

But Jesus called them to himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28 )
      Jesus, we pray for the work of your Holy Spirit in our lives: that our hearts’ desire would be to serve rather than to be served.

      Holy Spirit, please help us follow Jesus’ lead in serving others — to think more highly of others than ourselves.

      Father, please help us use whatever authority you give us to become servants of Jesus and servants of those he sends to us. Thank you.

      LORD, help us to be your servants in serving others.

A word received: I can set your spirit from from every snare of the evil one.

Friday: 140, 142 * 141, 143:1-11(12); Isa. 24:14-23; 1 Pet. 3:13-4:6; Matt. 20:17-28
Saturday: 137:1-6(7-9), 144 * 104; Micah 7:11-20; 1 Pet. 4:7-19; Matt. 20:29-34

Albany Intercessor


November 29, 2013

From the BBC:

Women in Syria are increasingly the targets of violent abuse and torture by government forces and armed groups.

Some 6,000 women have been raped since the start of the conflict in March 2011, the Euro Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) says.

A spokeswoman for the group said these women were then socially stigmatised, and often forced to flee their homes.

Women are being targeted by snipers and used as human shields, often with their children, the report also says.

Lamentations 3:22-24(NIV)
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

O Father in heaven, may the women in Syria look to You for their portion. Amen.

Matthew 6, James 1, and Deuteronomy 8

November 28, 2013

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34)
      Holy Spirit, please help us lay aside earthly anxieties and trust God our Father who knows what is best for us and will provide for us in his good time.

      Jesus, help us daily make the choice to follow where you lead.

      Father, please help us daily seek your kingdom and your righteousness.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:21-22)
      Father, let our thanksgiving to you overflow into doing your word. Let our passion for Jesus lead us into share the good news that we have received. Thank you.

So he humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
      Father, thank you for humbling us; thank you for feeding and providing for us. Thank you that we can feast on your word.

A word received: Look to me with hope.

Thursday: 131, 132, [133] * 134, 135; Zeph. 3:1-13; 1 Pet. 2:11-25; Matt. 20:1-16
Thanksgiving Day: 65 or 65:9-14; Deuteronomy 8:1-3,6-10(17-20); James 1:17-18,21-27; Matthew 6:25-33
Friday: 140, 142 * 141, 143:1-11(12); Isa. 24:14-23; 1 Pet. 3:13-4:6; Matt. 20:17-28

      Notes from the Front Line

Albany Intercessor

1 Peter 2:1-10

November 27, 2013

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, (1 Peter 2:1)
      Holy Spirit, help me lay these aside so that your fruit can grow in my life.

as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, (1 Peter 2:2)
      Jesus, I desire to be fed and nourished by your word.

if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (1 Peter 2:3)
      Jesus, thank you for being so gracious to us.

Coming to him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, (1 Peter 2:4)
      Lord Jesus, I come to you; use me wherever you want in building up your church.

you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)
      Father, I ask that our sacrifices will be acceptable to you through your son Jesus Christ.

Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on him will by no means be put to shame.” (1 Peter 2:6)
      Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.

Therefore, to you who believe, he is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. (1 Peter 2:7-8 )
      Jesus, you know all the places and times that I have stumbled. Help me leave behind disobedience and help me walk in your footsteps.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:9)
      Your light, Jesus, shines forth in the surrounding darkness. Help me daily proclaim your praises and live in holiness.

who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:10)
      Father, thank you for adopting me as your child and making me a part of your people.

A word received: Open the door of your heart. I want to come in.

Wednesday: 119:145-176 * 128, 129, 130; Obadiah 15-21; 1 Pet. 2:1-10; Matt. 19:23-30
Thursday: 131, 132, [133] * 134, 135; Zeph. 3:1-13; 1 Pet. 2:11-25; Matt. 20:1-16
Thanksgiving Day: 65 or 65:9-14; Deuteronomy 8:1-3,6-10(17-20); James 1:17-18,21-27; Matthew 6:25-33

Albany Intercessor

New Wineskins Missionary Network

November 27, 2013

From their bulletin Reach Out:

Are there any who have not yet received the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation?
More than 1 billion Muslims have never been invited to the Lord’s Table.
550 million Hindus have never been invited to the Lord’s Table.
300 million urban poor have never been invited to the Lord’s Table.
275 Buddhists have never been invited to the Lord’s Table.
150 million Chinese have never been invited to the Lord’s Table.
140 million animists have never been invited to the Lord’s Table.
37 million Sikhs have never been invited to the Lord’s Table.
17 million Jews have never been invited to the Lord’s Table.
2,100 unreached people groups have no church to invite them to the Lord’s Table.

Who will go share the Good News that the banquet is prepared for everyone?
We will go, by our prayers, our offerings, our lives, we will go!

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