See below for General Instructions
Reflections for This Week:
Advent is a season to prepare ourselves spiritually for Christmas. Our theme for the Advent season this year is giving … God’s giving. If God gave us Jesus, how might/should we respond?
Consider reading the opening prayer in the Near Resource booklet, “Gather me to be with you” by Ted Loder as you begin your 15x5 reflections this week.
Write in your journal 5 important characteristics of God. Then think about God as a giver. What are some of the things that God’s has given you? This scripture reminds us that God so loved the world that God GAVE his Son. What does that mean to you? How can you respond to this gift? What are some concrete things you can do in response, during this Advent season?
After describing God’s awesome presence in history, Isaiah says that God “works for those who wait for him.” It’s a prayer for God to be revealed in power, as in the days of old. It’s a cry for God’s compassion. What are some of the ways God might seem hidden today? What are some of the sinful responses that we might have to God’s seeming hiddenness? How can we remember God’s giving love when God seems hidden?
Psalm 80 is a plea, a lament, for God to restore and save us. The psalmist sees misfortune as a consequence of God’s anger. Do you agree with this theology? Why or why not? The psalmist uses this refrain 3 times: “let your face shine, that we may be saved.” What are some of the ways that you might recognize God’s “face shining” in your life, even in this past week or month?
Paul is giving thanks for the Corinthians; for their growth in speech (testimony) and in knowledge, as the Corinthians wait for the revealing of Jesus Christ. Read the “Prayer of St. Francis” on page 15 of the Near Resource booklet and reflect on ways that you can grow this week, testifying to your faith in Jesus Christ. Sing (or read) the musical prayer on page 17, “O Jesus I Have Promised.” Write your thoughts in your journal as you conclude this time of reflection.
There are two parables in this passage: one of the fig tree and the second of the man going on a journey who puts his servants in charge to keep his affairs in order. The lesson is to keep alert and awake. Keeping alert and awake is difficult when you wait a long time for a resolution to problems. What are some of God’s gifts to help us in times of waiting? The prayer on page 25 of the Near Resource booklet, may help you along the way. Which emotion most describes you right now? Which words best describe how you would most like God to touch your life?