It’s the season of Advent! Hallelujah! It’s the church’s new year, the time when we prepare for the coming of our Lord. And just as we feel renewed and hopeful and resolute when our calendars turn to January first, so also is this a time for renewal and hope and resolution.
Which is a good thing, as it seems that there is such a great need for hope right now. In the past few days I’ve heard multiple stories about people in need of hope. I’ve heard from two different friends who are dealing with alcoholism in their families. In one case, a mother actually made the gut-wrenching decision to surrender custody of her child to the state because she is so far in the grips of her alcoholism. In another, a wife endures extreme belligerence and humiliation at the hands of a husband who is unwilling to admit to his addiction. I’ve also heard about a wife who continues to sit with her husband as he recovers from an aortic aneurysm, and is dealing with confusion and agitation after being in a coma for several days. I’ve also learned of a friend – a minister – who suddenly, and under a veil of secrecy, had to leave his congregation and ministry.
These are just several examples of the stories I’ve heard in the past several days. I know you have stories of your own that you have heard, or even experienced yourself. These are all examples of people who need hope, who yearn for the coming of a Messiah to save and redeem them.
The good news is the He is coming. Let us prepare the way . . .
Cross: In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
Invitatory Bead: “Happy are those servants who the master finds awake when he comes.” (Luke 12:37, NIV)
1st Cruciform Bead: Lord, help me to prepare for your coming by repenting of my sins.
1st set of Week Beads: use each bead to confess your sins to God.
2nd Cruciform Bead: Lord, help me to prepare for your coming by contemplating your Word.
2nd set of Week Beads: use each bead to think about God’s love and His will for us as revealed in Scripture.
3rd Cruciform Bead: Lord, help me to prepare for your coming by living a wholesome life.
3rd set of Week Beads: use each bead to name the ways in which you can live in a way that glorifies God.
4th Cruciform Bead: Lord, help me to prepare for your coming by revealing your light to others.
4th set of Week Beads: use each bead to name the ways in which you can minister to others.
Invitatory Bead: recite The Lord’s Prayer
Cross: In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen