Second Sunday of Advent. Today light two candles. Last Sunday the candle of hope was lit. This Sunday light the candle of love. One verse many memorize and remember on this day is John 3:16, "God so loved the world..." When people do not know the love of other people, it makes it harder for them to understand God's love. During Advent, remember God's gift of Jesus to the world and know God's love for all people is the reason for this gift.
(Light the first and second candles.)
Sing or read the first verse of "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" (Hymn #218).
It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth, to touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, good will to [all]," from heaven's all-gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.
Remember God's love when you look at the second candle. Be mindful of God's love at Advent, and remember God sent Jesus to us to help us know God is loving and just.
Read Isaiah 11:1-10 Common English Bible
A shoot will grow up from the stump of Jesse; a branch will sprout from his roots. The Lord’s spirit will rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of planning and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.
He will delight in fearing the Lord. He won’t judge by appearances, nor decide by hearsay. He will judge the needy with righteousness, and decide with equity for those who suffer in the land. He will strike the violent with the rod of his mouth; by the breath of his lips he will kill the wicked. Righteousness will be the belt around his hips, and faithfulness the belt around his waist.
The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat; the calf and the young lion will feed together, and a little child will lead them. The cow and the bear will graze. Their young will lie down together, and a lion will eat straw like an ox. A nursing child will play over the snake’s hole; toddlers will reach right over the serpent’s den. They won’t harm or destroy anywhere on my holy mountain.
The earth will surely be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, just as the water covers the sea. On that day, the root of Jesse will stand as a signal to the peoples. The nations will seek him out, and his dwelling will be glorious.
Reflect: The words of the prophets may not always be the first thought when thinking about God's love. But imaging this picture of the peaceable kingdom, we are amazed by God's love allowing a child to lead. Who in the world who needs the message of God's love? What are your hopes for how people today can receive the message of love? How do you help others know God's love?
Prayer: Dear God: Thank you for your son Jesus, who shows us your love and care. Help us see how we can bring God's message to the people we meet in school, at work and where we live. Help us be a messenger of God's love for everyone. Amen.
Daily Devotions: Week Two
Monday: Read Isaiah 11:1-10 again. Draw pictures of the wondrous things God created that you see in the world around you. Create your picture of God's kingdom of peace. Give thanks for the world and all those in it.
Tuesday: Is there someone you know who needs to hear words of God's love? Make or select a card for that person and mail it today.
Wednesday: Love is something we need in the church. Think about the people at University UMC. Select one person in the church and pray for them.
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 love, and pray for them today.
Saturday: There are people in your neighborhood, the church and the community who need to know about God's love. 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 who waits on you at the grocery store. Stop by today and talk with that person, relaying to them one way he or she makes you feel loved.