Tag Archive for Advent

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Prepare for Advent: Peace

Father, You are peace.
You are wholeness,
harmony, and
complete well-being.

I long to breathe Your peace
as Christ breathes it,
so perfectly and naturally.
You and He are
one Spirit,
one heart,
one mind,
one love.
As I trust You, I share in Your peace.
I share in Christ, and
He Himself is peace. (Ephesians 2:14)
The fruit of His presence is peace. (Galatians 5:22)
He gives peace in every circumstance. (1 Thessalonians 3:16)

On this second Sunday of Advent,
You give us a glimpse of a new world in which
Your perfect peace flows like a river
through every relationship and
through all of life,
through the very fabric of creation itself.

That peace comes only in Jesus Christ,
who alone can make us one with You.
His peace began at His first coming –
and how I am enjoying those beginnings!
But His universal, all-encompassing peace will not be complete till
He comes again.

O come, Lord Jesus!
We wait for You and
long for You! 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Sweet Peace
Printed Music & Lyrics

from Prepare Yourself for Worship

Prepare for Advent

Father, Advent reminds me that
we live in a period of eager waiting.
This time between
Your first coming and
Your second coming
is one long Advent season.

Christ has come.
He has brought us forgiveness for sin, and
He has promised to return and do away with sin forever.

He has empowered us for life and service.
He has poured out on us His own holy life,
the life of the Father,
His Holy Spirit.
And He has promised that when He returns,
we will be united with Father, Son, and Spirit
completely and

He has risen from the dead, and
we are already enjoying His new resurrection life.
But He has promised to come back and
finish His resurrection transformation.
We will be fully risen in Him,
complete in Him,
new in Him,
alive in Him
in ways we have only tasted.

During this Advent season, Father,
heighten within me
the waiting,
the hoping,
the anticipating.
Fix my heart, mind, and daily life on our
oneness with You
in Jesus Christ. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Live in the Promise
Printed Music & Lyrics

Jesus’ Family

Notice the women mentioned in these excerpts from Matthew 1:1-16:

A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar 

…Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife 

…and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary,
of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. (NIV)

For a Jew in biblical times, his genealogy was the leading item on his resume. It was his pedigree, and often it included only men. The genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1 bends tradition by including five women. And what a colorful lot they were!

Tamar entered Jesus’ family tree by seducing her father-in-law.

Rahab was a prostitute. Both she and Ruth were foreigners…outsiders…unclean Gentile “dogs”.

The woman called “Uriah’s wife” was Bathsheba. She won her place by committing adultery with King David, who then murdered her husband.

And finally, Mary was a teenager who became pregnant before she was married.

Even in his genealogy, Jesus broke down all barriers between us, and between us and God. He embraces us all as His own family if we simply trust Him. In Him there is no Jew nor Gentile, male nor female. We are all one in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26, 28, para.). Our holy God is proud to call Himself our Brother (Hebrews 2:11, para.).

our treasure is not our passing possessions or
the money that flows through our fingers,
but You and Your eternal love for us.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Family Tree
Printed Music & Lyrics

Fall and Incarnation

from the book, ONE WITH OUR FATHER
John 1:10-14; Genesis 2 – 3 

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:10-14, NASB)

Father, Son, and Spirit gifted the humans with the freedom
to will and speak and breathe,
to live and create and rule.
They shared with the human beings the right to
think and choose.

A Rebel, a Liar, a Hater, a Destroyer,
a created being who had turned his own gift of choice
entirely toward himself,
seduced the humans into doing the same.
They chose
their own will,
their own wisdom,
their own sovereignty instead of the Father and Son.
They chose
darkness instead of light,
shame instead of glory,
a curse instead of blessing,
grief instead of joy,
death instead of life.

But the love of the One Being was
still full and overflowing,
still giving and longing for the creature He had made.
Instead of abandoning the humans,
He drew still closer to them.
From His unquenchable love,
the One Being came to them.
He didn’t send them a messenger:
He came Himself.
He didn’t just speak to them.
He joined Himself to them.
He became one with them.
He became one of them.

When the time was right,
the Father willed, and
the Spirit breathed, and
and the Word became flesh.
Heaven and earth,
holy and human,
creature and Creator
were again One.

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven.
By the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary, and
became man. 


Listen and sing:
Hymn: Before the Starry Universe
Printed Music & Lyrics

God in Christ in Us

Father, I see Your holy beauty in Jesus Christ.
Though He is fully human,
He is fully,
gloriously You.

Father, You have given us His Spirit,
so display Him through us,
His Church.
When the world sees us, may they glimpse
His holy heart and
His holy life.
May they sense both
His divinity and
His beautiful humanity.
May they feel
His compassion,
His gentle patience, and
His generous heart.
May they taste
His joy,
His deep peace, and
His flaming passion for You.

Through us,
may they come to know Christ;
and through Christ,
may they come to know You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God in Christ in Us
Printed Music & Lyrics

God Keeps His Promises

During His final days on earth, Jesus told His disciples what was to come:

“All the nations of the earth… will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31, NIV)

Every year Advent and Christmas shout this truth:
God keeps His promises.
Though the promises are ancient, and
the wait is long, and
the fulfillment seems so improbable,
God always keeps His promises.

For centuries God had spoken through His prophets,
telling in amazing detail of a coming Messiah.
Jesus Christ came exactly as prophesied.
The same God promises that
this same Jesus will come again.
He urges us to be watchful,
to be faithful,
for the Day will come when least expected.

Lord, we are watching.
We are waiting.
We are obeying.
Come, Lord Jesus!

Consider this:
The great drama of salvation,
with all its faithfulness and betrayal,
its patient endurance and apostasy,
its self-centeredness and self-sacrifice,
is going on right now.
Each of us is taking part day by day. 

Father, when Jesus returns,
may I be faithfully at my post,
serving, and
eagerly expecting Him.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Trumpet Will Sound
Printed Music & Lyrics

JESUS THE LIGHT Devotional Tapestry

JESUS THE LIGHT Devotional Tapestry

Devotional Tapestries are short recordings designed to draw your heart and mind to the Living God. Each includes a devotional reading over instrumental music, leading into a hymn.

Listen to JESUS THE LIGHT Devotional Tapestry.

Printed devotional & hymn

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My Holy and Human Brother

Lord Jesus, You bring God within my reach.
You are flesh and blood like me.
You experienced life here as I experience it, in all its
struggle, and
Yet in You I see the transcendent God,
and in a form I can
understand and
Almighty, sovereign God is real to me in You.
I can begin to relate to Him in You.

Holiness is also real to me in You.
I would never conceive of holy living,
never dream of it or
desire it
until I saw it
so beautiful and
in You.
And as I trust You,
You bring holiness into my
innermost heart and
outermost living.
You make me holy!
I can hardly even imagine it, and
yet it is true.

You prove to me that I can be both
human and
You prove to me that I can be a true child of God
here and now,
in this present, evil world.
You prove it by Your living example.
You prove it by giving me Your own Holy Spirit
to live and breathe and desire within me.
And You promise that
what You have begun,
You will finish, beautifully and completely.

Praise to You, Jesus,
my holy and human Brother!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Holy, Human Jesus Christ
Printed Music & Lyrics

Hope Devotional

Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:1-2, NIV)

Lord, thank You for the joy and security of
living in Your presence.
I look back, and
I marvel at all You’ve done for me.
You’ve been with me every moment.

I look ahead, and
I see You there,
more real and more wonderful than ever.

And I know You are with us now,
loving us and
blessing us.
That gives me confidence and hope for every day.
You will be with us forever!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Live in the Promise
Printed Music & Lyrics

WAITING Devotional Tapestry

WAITING Devotional Tapestry

Devotional Tapestries are short recordings designed to draw your heart and mind to the Living God. Each includes a devotional reading over instrumental music, leading into a hymn.

Listen to WAITING Devotional Tapestry.

Printed devotional & hymn
More Devotional Tapestries