Daily Prayer Guide: Thursday Dec 24

Scripture Reading

Luke 2: 1-20

“About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel. There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger. At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights. Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed. Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!”

[Excerpted from Eugene Peterson’s, The Message]

The story is familiar, and the words from Luke 2 ring in our ears like the well-known voice of a loved one or lyrics from our favorite song. And when the angelic choir opens up to sing their song, God’s promise of shalom pours out onto a world in dire need: Glory to God in the heavenly heights. Peace to all men and women on earth who please Him. Through the birth of Christ, God births His plan to restore peace and shalom to the world, and it is that promise that we remember during this season of Advent. Today, thank God that through Christ we are given all  that we could possibly need to cultivate shalom.

Praise God for

  • the Story of Christ’s birth, and the chance we have to be a part of the Story of shalom each and every day of our lives

Imagine

  • that you were a part of that first heavenly host, proclaiming “Glory to God in the Heavenly Heights,” and consider how you might proclaim that same Glory to God in your life today, on Christmas and in every day following

Pray

  • that you might experience the promise of shalom in your own life, that it might inspire and motivate you to live out that promise in your home, work, relationships and most of all, in your heart

Written by Mariah Lefeber

Click Here to Download Week 4 Prayer Guide: Sun Dec 20-Fri Dec 25

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Love All

Act Local: Share gifts of time and resources with those in our community. At the Impact Tree in the Atrium, find opportunities available for individuals, families and life groups. All the information you need will be on the cards by the Tree. Take a card – put an ornament on the tree.

Give Global: On Sunday, December 13 during services, we'll take up an Advent Conspiracy offering (a direct result of spending less) to give towards clean water projects and wheelchair needs in Honduras, Kenya and Romania. If you won’t be able to join us at services on that day but still want to participate, just write "Advent" in the memo of your check and drop it in any of the offering boxes.


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