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Advent with the Body of Christ

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Today’s Reflection

ADVENT IS A FITTING TIME to remember that we are all members of the body of Christ. Individual efforts do not sustain faith. We need the spirit of God to assist us in all things, but we also need each other. …

We need to learn to rely on one another in all seasons of our lives and to practice being present with those with whom we share community on a regular basis. Let us imagine a believing community that exhibits hope and belief to those who find themselves wearied by the spiritual journey. This collective bearing of strengths and struggles is one way we, as a unified body of Christ, learn to faithfully wait together for the coming fullness of God’s kingdom.


Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent

From pages 33-34 of Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent by Enuma Okoro. Copyright © 2012 by Enuma Okoro. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What Advent or Christmas events are you attending with your community? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 12:6, NRSV

This Week: Pray for those mourning a loved one. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Prepare for Advent

Explore how nativity sets, Advent wreaths, candles, carols, Christmas cards, and other traditions help prepare our hearts for the God “who bends low to enter our world and our lives.” The Living Nativity, a new book and eCourse by Larry Peacock, is available now.

This week we remember: Thomas Merton (December 10).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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In order to continue receiving Upper Room Daily Reflections after January 1, 2019, please confirm your subscription here.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Jill December 12, 2018, 4:00 am

    Christmas Eve evening is such a treasured time for me. I go over to my best friend’s house in the late afternoon. I go to church with her family, sitting with her kids in the Christmas Eve service. I am amazed at how they have grown. In this year’s Christmas picture – they will both be taller than me. I can still see, in my mind’s eye, the picture where I knelt beside them, with my arms around them – and me being on my knees – I was still taller than them. After the church service, we drive through a few neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. We then go back home, have dinner and then I get my gift. A photo calendar – each month has multiple pictures of the kiddos and their cat. We then have Christmas cookies. Oh how I love this tradition. Tears are rolling down my cheeks, even now, as I think about it. Last Christmas was a difficult one for my friend, as she lost her “Grandie” on the 22nd. This year will be difficult too, the first one without her.
    Mom’s bloodwork revealed nothing alarming…thyroid and other levels where they should be. I was unable to reach them last evening – and then I remembered they were going over to their youngest grandson’s house for dinner. Grateful she felt like doing this. I will catch up with them this morning.
    Andrea – I am grateful Lowell received a proper diagnosis. Praying for endurance for both of you. Prayers, too, for Marcy and Mary – thank You, Father, for Mary and the assistance she provides Marcy.

  • Betsy December 12, 2018, 7:36 am

    Advent for me is filled with lots of church activities and plenty of music. We’ve had our Cantata at church, performed the Messiah at the local college and I’m planning on attending another church’s music program this Sunday afternoon. Christmas carols and much loved hymns bring back memories and connect me closely with others during the Advent season. Jill, your Christmas Eve plans are a memory that is so special, I can tell. So glad to hear your mom’s bloodwork didn’t reveal anything bad.
    Thank you all for continued prayers fo my brother. I took him yesterday to his neurologist. He has new brain and spinal plaques caused by this latest MS episode, but they are going to start him on a new type infusion treatment which he will get once a month. Doctors have seen great improvement in patients while on this. Praying he will be released from the rehab hospital before the Christmas holidays. My sister will come down and take him to lunch and visit with him, while we are away for Christmas break. It takes a village. Thankful for all my sisters who step in and help as they can.
    Prayers for Julie and a stress free and calm Christmas. Marcy, prayers for health improvements. Robert, hoping the weather improves and you can venture out soon. Mary, Connie, Rusty and other who visit here: blessings this day.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 12, 2018, 8:17 am

      Keeping your brother in prayer, Betsy. May he have a speedy recovery.

      Grateful for all your prayers.

      Grateful for the joy of candle making.

      Every year at Christmas, I will host a meal for my tuition students’ family since I know them. I brought them to s Chinese restaurant last year and this year, they chose to go to kfc. I invited their grandma and Aunt too as they are my students’ primary caregivers.

      I also buy gifts for all my tuition students.

      My family will also gather to celebrate Christmas. Each of us will bring some food to share and also presents for one another.

      Looking forward to Christmas already. Counting down the days.

      Blessings to all!

      May all have a joyous Christmas and not forget the homeless and need!

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 12, 2018, 8:33 am

        I meant the needy

        Oh Julie, may you have a speedy recovery!

        Some honey lemon juice will help your sore throat.

        Do take care!

  • Julie December 12, 2018, 8:16 am

    mas is spent in my hometown with family. There are many I see only at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I suggested we have a Yankee Swap gift exchange this year and everyone seemed eager to try this.
    Prayers of thankfulness that Gloria’s bloodwork was fine and that she well enough to enjoy dinner with family. Prayers for Jill and her family.
    Prayers for Betsy and her family as they all contribute to her brother’s care.
    Prayers for Robert, Erich and Anneliese. May Robert’s car issues be resolved quickly.
    Prayers for Connie and her family, may they find joy in this season despite missiing s cherished loved one.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell and thankfulness that Lowell finally received a correct diagnosis.
    Prayers for Marcy, Mary and Lucy. May Mary be safe as she travels to care for others. May Marcy’s pain be lesss today.
    Prayers for Mary and her family, may her parents’ health continue to improve. Prayers of thankfulness for Mary’s giving attitude, what a blessing she is to her family, friends and students.
    Prayers for Lou and her family, Rusty and K, and April and her family.
    I pray each evening for those who have spoken here of insomnia. I count myself among you, as I spend mush time awake at night. Last night I woke in the night with a very sore throat. Have tried many things and yet it is still very sore. Many little children around on Sunday at the many Christmas displays, I fear I have caught somethng from one of them.
    Prayers dear UR family and all who visit

    • Andrea December 12, 2018, 5:05 pm

      Prayers you feel better soon, dear Julie!

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