Advent speaks of the coming of Christ past present and future. In this month we will consider the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church and to all of us as believers.
As we have received the gift of the Spirit let us live out the characteristics of the Spirit in our lives by displaying patience, faith, joy and love.
The future is glorious but it will be cross shaped
Each prayer to lead us into Advent highlighting the need to go beyond the historical Advent narratives of the past to see the significance of Christ’s presence in our world today and his coming in glory in the future. The prayers will concentrate on Christ the hope of the world. Christ the light in our lives and Christ the author of our past present and future. In him through his Spirit we live and move and have our being because of this our future is glorious.
Advent invites us to open the gift of patience
The gift of patience. Mary could be our example, or Elizabeth or even Zachariah waiting patiently and at time impatiently for God to act.
The prayers will help us express our frustration when nothing seems to be happening, or when we feel we’ve been forgotten, or we feel our prayers never get answered. The prayers will invite us to hear and trust the promise of God in our darkest and doubt filled moments.
Advent invites us to open the gift of faith
The gift of faith. You might consider the wisemen travelling from the east in search of a dream or a star. This speaks to us of faith that invites us to make journeys of hope calling us to bring our gifts of faith, Gifts that speak of word and action. The incarnation reminds us that God is not distant or cerebral. God became flesh, and sprung into action in Jesus of Nazareth.
Advent invites us to open the gift of Joy
The gift of Joy. You might consider the joy experienced by shepherds being confronted with the Gospel, for the first time. Who are the shepherds today? God’s plan of deliverance to rescue a broken and fearful world still has significance in our societies. Contrast the joy of worship with the pain and struggle of a war torn world. Asking and seeking God’s protection on all we have forgotten the experience of expectation because they have no capacity left to expect good things to happen.
Christmas invites us to open the gift of Love
The gift of love. Prayers based around the definitions in Chapter 13