Advent 2018 Conversation and Prayer

Conversation and Prayer for Adults during Advent in the Parish House 10am

Join use for conversation and prayer in the Parish House with the 3 key words that capture the Christmas story during Advent 1,2,3 as we consider these questions:

1. Behold! Dec. 2, 2018, 10am – What are you seeking during the season of Advent?

2. Proclaim! Dec. 9, 2018, 10am – What is God proclaiming to us, and what are we to proclaim to the world?

3. Rejoice! Dec. 16, 2018, 10am – What promises of God give you cause to rejoice? Help prepare for the greening of the church at 11AM.

Behold, Proclaim and Rejoice are the key action words that capture the essence of the Christmas story.

“Behold” was the word of the angel to Mary, Zechariah, the Shepherds and Simeon in the King James Version

Behold is to fix your eyes upon, direct your attention. Don’t miss it! Mary directs her attention to the angel as do the shepherds. And it is positive – Mary has found favor, the angels provide joy announcing the birth of Jesus

Generally there is a “Fear Not” before “Behold”

Luke 1:13 To Zechariah -“But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

Luke 1:20 BEHOLD – To Zechariah when he was skeptical about a son born to his elderly wife, “And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. He used his age and wife’s age not to believe that she would conceive a son.

Luke 1:30 BEHOLD – Annunciation -“Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Luke 1:31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.'”

Luke 1:36 “And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.”

Luke 1:38 “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”

Luke 1:48 “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.”

Luke 2:10 BEHOLD – Shepherds – “And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people’.”

Luke 2:25 BEHOLD – Simeon ” And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

Luke 2:34 “And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;”

Proclaim is directed to the shepherds giving them a mission they never have – to be the herald of the birth of Jesus to others. Proclaim is to announce, to make public. The angel is giving them a new vision a new purpose in life

Luke 2:20 – PROCLAIM – Shepherds

“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

Rejoicing is the response of the Kings when they saw the star, the beacon directing them to the manger. The story of the Epiphany is about discovery—following a star to the source of salvation

The main idea of Epiphany is that Christ is the light of the world that came at Christmas and now beckons us to travel with Him in the common year.

Matthew 2:9-11 – REJOICE

9 “When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh”