Advent guides are available at both Parishes on Sundays or you can download and view the PDF here.

Advent comes from the Latin word adventus meaning  “coming” or “visit.” During the season of Advent, we prepare  for and anticipate the coming of Christ. We remember Israel’s, and our, longing for a Messiah, to save and deliver us.

Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by His first coming. This year we will be studying through the book of Micah to see how it prophesies and points towards the coming of Jesus. The title for this guide comes from Micah 5. We know that during this season that there are many things competing for your attention and your time. We pray this guide helps you to celebrate the season, to let Jesus be your peace.

Each week includes a candle lighting scripture and prayer. These are the same readings we will be doing each Sudany during the season. Each week also includes a devotional for use in your personal  study or in missional community groups along with discussion questions.

Second Week of Advent

Second Week of Advent

Devotional

Jesus came into a world much like our own. The people of Israel were waiting for a king to set all things right. The prophets had told them that another king would come and fix what was broken.

How is this different today? We’re all waiting. For someone to fix it. Our lives are unfinished, and history is as well, and it’s all broken. This Advent season has come again, and how many of us feel an emptiness, a lack, a longing for something that the Christmas we celebrate cannot fill. What does it mean then to celebrate Christmas? 

We pull out the decorations and the tree and get ready, and we celebrate a holiday but, what are we truly meant to celebrate? Jesus, Mary’s son who was also God, Yahweh Incarnate, was born into this messy world so that though we are all lost, we may be found.

Though blind, we may see. Truly see the amazingness of this incredible and so beautiful and more real than any reality we think we know so that we too must be knocked off our feet to worship as angels sing a new creation into the dark night. Our dark night. He gives us light and sight for it is not his purpose that we grope through life but rather dance to the music of His song, His singing in us. 

So, as this season begins, ask, do I truly see Him and who He is to me? Ask, How am I dancing this dance, singing this song of redemption and hope and in all parts of my life? Ask, where am I sharing the joy in this celebration of new life, no longer blind but now seeing His beauty?

Hear, you peoples, all of you;

pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it,

and let the Lord God be a witness against you,

the Lord from his holy temple.

For behold, the Lord is coming out of his place,

and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.

And the mountains will melt under him,

and the valleys will split open,

like wax before the fire,

like waters poured down a steep place.

All this is for the transgression of Jacob

and for the sins of the house of Israel.

Micah 1:2-5a

Discussion Questions

  • Read Micah 1. It seems like a very harsh and hopeless indictment of Israel. However, the events of this book lead us to the story of Jesus’ birth. Do you find yourself, the Church or the world in a similar predicament? 
  • How do you feel God calling you into His song of redemption and hope this Advent? 
  • How do you celebrate Christmas? 
First Week of Advent

First Week of Advent

Jesus came into a world much like our own. The people of Israel were waiting for a king to set all things right. The prophets had told them that another king would come and fix what was broken.

How is this different today? We’re all waiting. For someone to fix it. Our lives are unfinished, and history is as well, and it’s all broken. This Advent season has come again, and how many of us feel an emptiness, a lack, a longing for something that the Christmas we celebrate cannot fill. What does it mean then to celebrate Christmas? 

We pull out the decorations and the tree and get ready, and we celebrate a holiday but, what are we truly meant to celebrate? Jesus, Mary’s son who was also God, Yahweh Incarnate, was born into this messy world so that though we are all lost, we may be found.

Though blind, we may see. Truly see the amazingness of this incredible and so beautiful and more real than any reality we think we know so that we too must be knocked off our feet to worship as angels sing a new creation into the dark night. Our dark night. He gives us light and sight for it is not his purpose that we grope through life but rather dance to the music of His song, His singing in us. 

So, as this season begins, ask, do I truly see Him and who He is to me? Ask, How am I dancing this dance, singing this song of redemption and hope and in all parts of my life? Ask, where am I sharing the joy in this celebration of new life, no longer blind but now seeing His beauty?


Hear, you peoples, all of you;

pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it,

and let the Lord God be a witness against you,

the Lord from his holy temple.

For behold, the Lord is coming out of his place,

and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.

And the mountains will melt under him,

and the valleys will split open,

like wax before the fire,

like waters poured down a steep place.

All this is for the transgression of Jacob

and for the sins of the house of Israel.

Micah 1:2-5a


Discussion Questions
  • Read Micah 1. It seems like a very harsh and hopeless indictment of Israel. However, the events of this book lead us into the story of Jesus’ birth. Do you find yourself, the Church or the world in a similar predicament? 
  • How do you feel God calling you into His song of redemption and hope this Advent? 
  • How do you celebrate Christmas?
Practice of Examen

Practice of Examen

Examen means examiniation of the conscience and was first written about as a spiritual practice by Ignatious of Loyala in 1548. This practice helps us with daily reflections where we review our past to find God and God’s blessings. During Advent try to set aside 15 minutes every day for this practice. Review the last 24 hours using the prayer of examen. 

Invite the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Position your body in a posture of attentiveness, but not rigidity – feet flat on the floor, sitting up straight so you can breathe freely.  Take three deep breaths, breathing in God’s blessing and breathing out all that is not of God (your fear, your anxiety, your anger).  Pray this simple prayer, “In your grace, Lord, I want to see the truth of my life through your eyes. Please reveal it to me.” Breathe in God’s blessing and breathe out all that is not of God.

Review the day with thanksgiving. Once you have invited the Holy Spirit’s guidance, name the blessings for which you are thankful in the last day. As you do this, remember, this is not a time to “count your blessings,” but rather a time to savor your blessings. As you savor your blessings, picture Jesus before you, smiling and delighting in you.

Review the feelings that surface. Now ask yourself what feelings surfaced throughout the day.  Did you feel frustrated? Ashamed? Disappointed? Excited? Joyful? Pained? Name the negative and positive feelings.

Choose one or two feelings and pray from it. Choose a negative feeling and a positive feeling and simply talk to God about those feelings. Then listen to him. As you do this, go ahead and let God surprise you. Behold Jesus beholding you as you present your feelings to him.

Look forward to tomorrow. Now, look forward. Tomorrow is a new day and God’s mercies are new each morning. Ask yourself what you learned today in your prayer of examen and then end your time by asking God for the grace you need to move forward tomorrow.