Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent Vigil - Week One

I'll be posting here a collection of guided advent meditations that we are going through at our church. I hope they will be helpful to you as you navigate this holiday season...

\'ad-'vent\ noun (from Latin adventus, “arrival”)
1: The coming of Christ at the incarnation.
2: The period of 4 weeks before Christmas.

Vigil: \'vi-jəl\ noun (from Latin vigilia, “wakefulness”)
1: A period of sleeplessness.
2: An occasion for devotional watching or observance.

At Advent, we celebrate the incarnation of God in Jesus. We sing the verses of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” in a minor key and rehearse the feelings of abandonment and longing felt by those to whom God had become silent. We sing the refrain of the same song and “Rejoice”, for He has come—the WORD has become flesh. We watch with devotion for how He might come anew into our lives today.

In foretelling His coming, the prophet Isaiah declared that He would be known by four names...

Isaiah 9:6
For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Each week in our Advent Vigil (a period of devoted watching for His incarnation) we want to reflect on one of the four names of the Promised One. We want to welcome Him into our lives and remind ourselves of how each of these beautiful names from this ancient prophecy (2,700 years old) perfectly speak to our need today.

Week One - Jesus Promised as our Wonderful Counselor
In our first week of Advent, we remember that Jesus came as our Wonderful Counselor. He is the One who knows and understands. He never needs to be informed, but rather informs every situation of our lives. His wisdom is complete, His counsel incomparable. He is never anything but wise in every thing He does. James, the brother of Jesus, tells us that “if anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.“ (James 1:5)

What are the things in your life right now that need the wisdom of Jesus? Where do you especially need clarity and understanding? Solomon (the wisest human besides Jesus) says that “… the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Pr. 2:6) Ask Him to give you the wisdom, knowledge and understanding you need, and then look for it, listen for it, earnestly seek it—from Him, not from the world.

This week we encourage you to read one chapter from Proverbs each day. We suggest that you read the chapter that corresponds with that days date (Monday—Prov. 30, Tuesday—Prov. 1, Wednesday—Prov. 2, and so on).

Lord Jesus, I thank You and praise You for coming as my Wonderful Counselor. I recognize that you alone, O Lord, are the source of all wisdom. I confess to you my tendency to try to answer my questions with the world’s “wisdom”, which is foolishness to You. Come Lord, I open myself to receive Your wisdom in all areas of my life, especially _________. Amen

Sunday, November 01, 2009