First Sunday of Advent
Today light one candle. This is the candle of hope. Advent is a time of waiting for the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus again and hoping everyone will come to know and worship God. (Light the first candle)
Sing or read "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus" by Charles Wesley (Hymn #196).
Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Remember God's promise as you look at the first candle. God promised to send a Savior to the people. When studying the scripture, hear what the prophet Isaiah wrote. God fulfills the promises made to care for people. God is loving and just. God brings peace and this gives us hope. We look forward to the time when everything is fair, when the world is at peace and all people are treated justly.
Read Isaiah 2:1-5 (New Revised Standard Version)
"This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord."
Reflect: This Scripture offers the hope of God's kingdom where there is peace. It includes the wonderful sentence, "…let us walk in the light of the Lord!" Who in the world needs hope? What hopes do you have for the world today? How do you help others know God gives hope?
Prayer: Dear God: Thank you for your son Jesus. Thank you for the words of the Prophet Isaiah reminding me/us you are the source of hope. Help me/us to remember to walk in the light of the Lord. AMEN.
Daily Devotions: Week One
Monday: Read Isaiah 2:1-5 again. Pick one verse and memorize it. How do you think this verse gives hope to people?
Tuesday: Is there someone you know who needs to hear words of hope? Make or select a card for them and mail it today.
Wednesday: Hope is needed in the world. Think about different leaders in the world. Select one world leader and pray for them today.
Thursday: Getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus can be a very busy time. Take a ten-minute break today. Sit quietly. Look at the Advent wreath if it helps you to concentrate. Pray, asking God's help to bring quiet and calm to a busy world.
Friday: Think about a family member or friend who needs God's hope and pray for them today.
Saturday: There are people in your neighborhood, the church and the community who need to know about God's hope. Select someone to visit today, be it electronically, by phone or in person. It doesn't necessarily have to be a visit to a home. Maybe there is someone you always see at the library. Stop by today and talk with that person, relaying to them one way he or she helps you feel hopeful.