Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent Conspiracy Devotional: Sunday, November 28th

Today is the First Day of Advent.  Each day during Advent I will post a short devotion including a scripture, a reflection and a question (or two).  These are taken from a devotional put together for Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church's participation in the Advent Conspiracy this year.  Because this is the first day, I am also including the introduction to the devotional.  I hope these devotions help draw you closer to the God that chose to come near to us.  

Advent means ‘coming’ and it is designed and intended to be a time of preparation for the coming of Christ.  It is about preparation, but not about putting up the tree, decorating the house or getting all the gifts on the list (not that there is anything wrong with those things – there isn’t!)
Instead, Advent is about preparing our hearts, minds and lives to celebrate and remember the miracle of Christ coming near to us. A common and important aspect of our discipleship and relationship with God is regular time in prayer, study and devotion.
This booklet is intended to be a tool to use in that setting to help us be more fully prepared as we come together to worship and celebrate God coming near to us. 
As our focus for the season is the ‘Advent Conspiracy’ each of the included devotions will focus on at least one of the four main themes of the ‘conspiracy’: Worship Fully; Spend Less; Give More; Love All.
A final word of reminder, the ‘Advent Conspiracy’ isn’t about taking the joy out of Christmas, not giving gifts or anything like that.  Instead it is simply a matter of recognizing where our real joy comes from, celebrating the ‘best gift’ while sharing that gift in all we do this Advent and Christmas. 
            The point of the conspiracy, and this booklet is to draw you into a deeper relationship with the God who choose to draw near to you and in so doing invite others into that same relationship by the way we live our lives. 

Scripture: Romans 12:1 -
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Reflection:  There are several definitions of the word worship and the word itself can be either an noun or a verb.  It can be a church service you participate in or an act that you perform.  It can be a state of mind or the attitude that you take toward a person or an object. 
            But however we define it, it is important that we think about what we worship and how we worship.   We so often think about worship as something we do for an hour or two on Sunday mornings or maybe we think of it as the way we feel about something or someone. 
            The verse from Romans above gives us a different view or understanding of what worship is.  God calls us to live as an act of worship.  God calls us to respond to God’s love, grace and peace – demonstrated in the person of Jesus Christ drawing near to us.  We are called to ‘offer our bodies’ – to live our lives in response to the life Jesus lived for us. 
Question:   What does worship look like in your life? 
If you judged based on how you live your life, what would be the object of your worship – what are you living your life in response to?  

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