The Season of Advent
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’” (Mark 1:2-3 NLT)
Morning Reading: Genesis 3:1-15 NLT
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.“It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
“Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
Then the Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Lord God, You created a “good” world – an environment at peace and in balance – a place for us to walk with You in fullness of life.
+ Forgive us for yielding to the temptation to want more, for believing the deceitfulness of the evil one.
+ Forgive us for the compounded mess we have made of Your creation, for the destruction and havoc we have wrought.
+ Thank You, Lord, for not abandoning us at the dawn of time, even though we had turned away from You.
+ Thank You, Lord, for Your promise and provision of One who would save us – Your Son, Jesus Christ.
+ Thank You, Lord, for the promise of Satan’s destruction – fulfilled already on the Cross.
+ Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Your Spirit who enables us to live in newness of life as forgiven people.
Gracious God, may we walk with You in fullness of life during this Advent season. Give us a new awareness of Your presence in us and around us, and protect us from the wiles of the evil one. Make us a joy-filled people as we celebrate Your coming as the Child of Bethlehem and anticipate Your return as the King of Glory. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
“enemy’s camp-can you believe-look what the Lord has done”
Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.
He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people. (Revelation 22:20-21 NLT)
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen