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2016 Advent Bible readings, thoughts and prayers

25 November 2016 Wesley Mission news

Wesley Christian Life 810x540 11This Advent season, no matter where you are, we would love you to join us in prayer and reflection on God’s Word.

We have created this calendar of Bible readings, thoughts and prayers for every day of Advent; giving you the opportunity to spend time with God’s great story as we journey toward Christmas Day.

If you have only a few minutes, simply read the Bible reference, reflection starter and prayer each day and carry those thoughts with you. If you have more time, sit with the passage and prayerfully read it through. Spend some time thinking about it and reflecting on it. Then allow the prayer to be a starting point for your own praying.

If you miss one day, or more, don’t feel guilty or that you have to ‘catch up.’ You can if you want to, but if you don’t have the time or energy, simply carry on from the current day.

May God bless you and enrich your Christmas through your participation.

Advent readings and prayers

Christmas Day
Sunday 25 December 2016
Luke 2:1-12: Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
Thought: “On this Christmas Day, may the good news of great joy be heard throughout this world - Emmanuel: God is with us!
Prayer: With the best story ever to tell, God give us courage to be your storytellers.

Saturday 24 December 2016
Luke 1:46-55: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.
Thought: “Mary was not promised an easy life, yet her heart sang praises to God.
Prayer: No matter what Christmas is for us this year, may we remember the Christ Child is born again in our hearts.

Friday 23 December 2016
Luke 4:16:22: Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.
Thought: “We cannot escape knowing that God’s priority is with the poor and marginalised.
Prayer: May we be bearers of your good news, God, proclaiming your love, grace and mercy for all.

Thursday 22 December 2016
Psalm 147:1-11: How good it is to sing praises to our God.
Thought: “God always stands with (and acts for) those who are most vulnerable. With whom do we stand?
Prayer: The highest praise we can offer, God, is working alongside you in steadfast love.

Wednesday 21 December 2016
Isaiah 7:10-16: Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.
Thought: “Immanuel” means “God is with us.” For that we celebrate - we are not alone!
Prayer: Thank you, God, that you are here with us now. Thank you, and Amen!

Tuesday 20 December 2016
Romans 1:1-7: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thought: May this be our message and prayer for all of creation this Christmas!
Prayer: We who have received your grace, O Lord, desire to share it with all the world.

Monday 19 December 2016
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19: Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
Thought: God is present in the world. Where do we see the Light of God shining?
Prayer: We long for your coming, Lord, and know you are already here. Open our eyes to see you, and our hearts to share you.

4th Sunday in Advent
Sunday 18 December 2016
Matthew 1:18-25: ...and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means ‘God is with us.
Thought: We return to this story toward the end of Advent: have we become more aware of God-with-us over these weeks?
Prayer: May we be ever mindful of God’s presence - in us and through us within the world.

Saturday 17 December 2016
Luke 1:26-38: How can this happen?
Thought: Do we attempt to limit what God can do by our understanding of what is possible?
Prayer: Open our minds, God, to what is possible for you - and may we, too, be your servants.

Friday 16 December 2016
Matthew 24:36-44: No one knows the day or hour. … You don’t know when the Son of Man will come.
Thought: Do these words of Jesus fill us with fear or hope? How do we spend our time watching and waiting?
Prayer: Stay awake, O my soul, that we may be ready for Jesus’ coming.

Thursday 15 December 2016
Psalm 106:1-6, 48: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
Thought: Is there a confession we need to make to God before we can fully accept God’s steadfast love?
Prayer: God, we have sinned. We trust in Jesus to return us into your love.

Wednesday 14 December 2016
Isaiah 35:1-10: They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Thought: What song is stirring in our hearts as we count down toward Christmas?
Prayer: God, guide our feet on your Holy Way, that our hearts may be filled with joy in you.

Tuesday 13 December 2016
James 5:7-11: Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
Thought: Like children waiting to open their gifts on Christmas Day, are we, too, growing impatient through this season?
Prayer: Whatever we are waiting for, God, give us strength and patience.

Monday 12 December 2016
Psalm 146:5-10: Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob.
Thought: The heart of God is revealed in the words of this Psalm. Is it our heart, too.
Prayer: We cry for justice, Lord, and pray you will strengthen us to serve your people.

3rd Sunday in Advent
Sunday 11 December 2016
Matthew 11:2-11: Are you the one we should be looking for?
Thought: What do we expect from the Messiah?
Prayer: Help us let go of false expectations, and grant us wisdom to recognise the One who comes, even today, and calls us to follow in his ways as we build God’s kingdom on earth.

Saturday 10 December 2016
Isaiah 25:6-10: Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth.
Thought: We wait for God, for God alone has the power to save us.
Prayer: Lead us, Lord, into gladness and rejoicing.

Friday 9 December 2016
Philippians 1:3-11: The one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
Thought: For whom do we thank God?
Prayer: Thank you, God, for those who share your love and grace with us.

Thursday 8 December 2016
Romans 13:8-10: Love is the fulfilling of the law.
Thought: Love one another: it is as simple and as difficult as that!
Prayer: God, write your law of love onto our hearts. May it cover all we do and say and think.

Wednesday 7 December 2016
Isaiah 11:1-10: The time is coming when one of David’s descendants will be the signal for the people of all nations to come together.
Thought: Unity is God’s heartfelt desire - not just among humankind, but for all of creation.
Prayer: God, may we live into your yearning for unity.

Tuesday 6 December 2016
Romans 15:4-13: May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another.
Thought: The busyness of Christmas can often bring out tensions between people. How can we bring peace instead?
Prayer: May we be in harmony with one another so that we might glorify you, God.

Monday 5 December 2016
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever.
Thought: How do we speak and act for God’s justice in the world?
Prayer: We pray for justice and righteousness for all people, that your name will be blessed, O Lord.

2nd Sunday in Advent
Sunday 4 December 2016
Matthew 3:1-12: The kingdom of heaven will soon be here.
Thought: John’s call to repent is a call to turn away from our wrongdoings and turn back to God.
Prayer: God’s kingdom is a place of peace, hope, joy and love - may it be real here on earth in our words and actions, reaching everyone we meet.

Saturday 3 December 2016
Micah 5:2-5a: Like a shepherd taking care of his sheep, this ruler will lead and care for his people.
Thought: From amongst the least in Judah comes the Lord. No one is too insignificant for God to notice.
Prayer: God, we pray for all who will attend worship this week, and those who will lead them.

Friday 2 December 2016
John 1:10-17: From him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us.
Thought: This is truly the greatest gift of Christmas. It is only ours to share!
Prayer: Thank you, God, that you call us your children. We are Beloved!

Thursday 1 December 2016
John 1:1-9: His life gave light to everyone.
Thought: As followers of Jesus, we are also called to bring God’s light into the world.
Prayer: God, help us to shine brightly the light of your glory and love.

Wednesday 30 November 2016
Isaiah 2:1-5: Let’s live by the light of the Lord.
Thought: God longs for peace in this world. We are all called to help make God’s dream a reality.
Prayer: God, may we know your peace and spread it through all the world.

Tuesday 29 November 2016
Romans 13:11-14: Let the Lord Jesus Christ be as near to you as the clothes you wear.
Thought: May we get caught up in the Lord rather than the trappings of Christmas.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for the Light that comes into the world and shatters the darkness and all that lives in it.

Monday 28 November 2016
Psalm 122 “Peace be with you”
Thought: What does it mean to “seek your good,” especially in the season of Christmas? Whose good will we seek this day?
Prayer: We turn our hearts to worship you, God, and to seek the good of all your people.

1st Sunday in Advent
Sunday 27 November 2016
Matthew 1:18-25 “So the Lord’s promise came true”
Thought: At the beginning of this Advent Season, we remember that God’s promise is to be with us.
Prayer: In a world that seems filled with darkness, we pray for God’s hope, peace, joy and love to light the world.