November 2016


Wednesday, Nov. 30    Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20

from Charles Cochran, First Christian Church, Charleroi, PA:

The apostle Paul gives expression to the longing of a pastor’s heart – a longing which, on the best days, echoes the love and longing of Jesus for all of his large, sometimes-unruly flock.

That love and that flock transcend time and place. The Church reaches out from the first days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, through the present day and then beyond. Jesus loves all of his Church – past, present, and future – with a divine love that was, and is, and is to come.

You and I yearn to see Jesus’ return in glory. But Jesus yearns to see you even more. He pines for you the way Paul pined for the church in Thessalonica. They were Paul’s “glory and joy;” so it is with Jesus and the whole Church.  The story that begins with the birth of a baby boy in Bethlehem will be completed with the reunion of Jesus with the Church Triumphant. Jesus yearns for this day even more than you do. It will be joyous indeed!

Sweet Lord, help me to be as patient as you are as I await your return.  Amen.

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Tuesday, Nov. 29         Read Psalm 122

from Stephen Smythers, First Christian Church, Washington, PA:

Let us remember the words of David from Psalm 122, verse 1, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’”  There is great joy when we enter the house of the Lord.  During this Advent season let us embrace the joy as we take time out of our busy schedules to enter the house of the Lord.  Psalm 122 also speaks of peace: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!” (v. 6)  Jerusalem was known as the dwelling place of God.  In God’s presence, we should seek the peace that only God can provide.  It is easy to get caught up in the mad race of Christmas, and lose sight of what we are celebrating.

 

Psalm 122 also speaks of seeking peace and doing good toward others.  Let us strive to seek peace with our neighbors and going that extra mile to do good toward others.  So, at your next opportunity, when you gather in your church all adorned for the Christmas season, have a seat, take a breath, and seek the peace of Lord as you give thanks for the love of God.

 

Lord pour out your Spirit of Peace upon us and guide us on our path as faithful followers serving you through our service to other.  Amen.

Monday, Nov. 28         Read Isaiah 2:1-5

from Judy Bennett, Bridgeport, OH::

To me it seems ironic that as we find ourselves once again in the season of Advent – anticipating and celebrating the coming of the Prince of Peace –  that peace seems farther away than ever before.  Countries throughout the world, including our own, are divided by strife and uncertainty.  Then comes this visually rich passage from Isaiah ending with the admonition to walk in the light of the Lord.  What does this mean to us today?

 

Walking in the light means being prepared.  Walking in God’s light means that we put our hope in God alone.  It means looking for and taking the opportunities that God gives us to help others see the light – looking for and recognizing God in the ordinary places and events of our daily lives.  And ultimately it means walking side by side with all of God’s children to lighten the darkness which surrounds us on every hand.    “… come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.”

 

God of love, bless and guide us as we continue on our Advent journey.  May our lives radiate your light to all with whom we come in contact.   Amen.


We express our gratitude to the ministers of the regions who have offered their devotional thoughts and prayers through this project, which is sustained by your gifts to the Christmas Offering for Regional Ministry.  To contribute to the offering, please visit the following pages:  Supporting the PA Region   or    Supporting the WV Region

Prayerscapes is published by the Christian Church in West Virginia and the Christian Church in Pennsylvania for the not-for-profit distribution of their members and friends in the ecumenical church.  ©2016. All Rights Reserved.

1st Sunday in Advent, Nov. 27   Read Matthew 24:36-44

from William B. Allen, Regional Minister Emeritus:

We begin the new church year (Year A in the lectionary) with a gospel reading from St. Matthew – this is the year in which we focus on Matthew’s gospel.  Our text is Mt. 24:36-44 which lifts up the major Advent theme of watchfulness, vigilance, being aware of God’s movement in our midst.

 

Matthew quotes Jesus: “About that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”  And he refers to those who were caught unawares when Noah’s flood came upon the earth; about workers in the field and women grinding meal who will be surprised by the activity of God.  And finally, Jesus is quoted, “Therefore you must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

 

Advent invites us on an exciting adventure – watching for the activity of God, every day, in everyone we meet, in every circumstance of life.  Have a great journey to Christmas.

 

Teach us watchfulness, O God, as we await the coming of the Savior.  Amen.


We express our gratitude to the ministers of the regions who have offered their devotional thoughts and prayers through this project, which is sustained by your gifts to the Christmas Offering for Regional Ministry.  To contribute to the offering, please visit the following pages:  Supporting the PA Region   or    Supporting the WV Region

Prayerscapes is published by the Christian Church in West Virginia and the Christian Church in Pennsylvania for the not-for-profit distribution of their members and friends in the ecumenical church.  ©2016. All Rights Reserved.

Greetings, friends in Christ!

Prayerscapes for Advent will be presented by the ministers of both the WV and PA Regions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), representing the two regions with one staff.  It is a joy to offer the daily readings, which will begin to appear in your email box (or on your Facebook or Twitter Feed, if you follow the regional churches on social media).  Please share this news with your friends by sharing this email or the links available on those pages.  They can sign up to follow the daily readings at prayerscapes.wordpress.com.

We express our gratitude to the ministers of the regions who have offered their devotional thoughts and prayers through this project, which is sustained by your gifts to the Christmas Offering for Regional Ministry.  To contribute to the offering, please visit the following pages:   Supporting the PA Region   or    Supporting the WV Region


Prayerscapes is published by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Pennsylvania for the not-for-profit distribution of their members and friends in the ecumenical church.  ©2016. All Rights Reserved.  If you desire a download of the booklet for free distribution in your community, please visit this link.  The booklet prints on front-to-back sheets of letter sized paper (6 sheets per booklet).