Celebrate Advent Simply 7

Everyone gets lonely. It is normal to feel lonely, even in a crowded room. But we don’t need to leave people with that feeling. We can notice each other and pay attention to each other. We can introduce ourselves and ask each other what we are thinking or feeling. Feeling lonely can be really hard when it seems like everyone else is happy, especially during the holidays. This Advent, keep an eye out for the people on the…

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Celebrate Advent Simply 6

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7Peace is something we can experience whether we are alone or with a group of people. It is a gift that has more to do with our state of being than rational understanding. It is a gift exemplified and promised by Jesus.Share one way you will practice peace today.Pray: God, make me an instrument of your peace,…

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Celebrate Advent Simply 5

Nothing is better on a cold day  than sitting with one or some of your favorite people and enjoying a hot drink. It’s a way to feel warm, inside and out, not just because of the drinks you share but because these people remind you that you are connected, loved, and safe.Make some hot chocolate and drop marshmallows on top. For every marshmallow, name a person who makes you feel loved and safe. Close with a family prayer,…

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Celebrate Advent Simply 4

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.  - Psalm 136:1Some days feel like we can never stop thanking God for all the good things that fill our lives while other days feel like it’s hard to even think of one thing. But guess what? It’s okay because God’s love endures forever. That means, God’s love lasts—no matter how we are feeling. If all else fails, God’s love never will, so give thanks for that!Pray:…

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Celebrate Advent Simply 3

A handwritten note is more than just words - it shows you have taken time, gathered supplies, and thoughtfully considered what you will say, how you will deliver it, and to whom you will give it. When we share words of thanks and gratitude, we acknowledge that our life just wouldn’t be the same with out that person, their words, or actions. Thanking someone is an act of service! How many times can you thank someone today?Pray: God,…

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Celebrate Advent Simply 2

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. —Philippians 4:4-6Every day is a gift in and of itself. Every breath, every heartbeat, every blink of an eye… these are God’s gifts to us. These are things we don’t even have to think about.…

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Celebrate Advent Simply 1

On this first day of Advent, we remember the power of hope. Hope is like a spark that lights up even the darkest of days. So light your candle and remember that it only takes a spark for our hope in Jesus to change everything.Share one hope you have for this season.Pray: God of sparks and bonfires, light our lives with hope in you. Amen. These simple, daily devotions are written by Casey Cross for Hope Lutheran Church…

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Same Old Story

A writing for Modern Metanoia, ADVENT 1, LUKE 21:25-36If you have eyes, ears, and/or any kind of awareness of your surroundings, you might be like me right now. Angry. Heartbroken. On the verge of hopelessness. What the heck is wrong with our country – the (not so) United States of America? What the heck is wrong with our world? How have we grown so far from simple acts of stewardship and care for our earth and neighbor? Why…

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The Rule of God, For Us

A sermon for Sermons That Work, Advent 2, Isaiah 40:1-11 Comfort, O comfort. There is so much need for comfort in this world of heartbreak that we find ourselves. Every day we hear new stories of how we have failed each other; how we have used our talents, gifts, power, and position to maneuver our way to “success” at the expense of so many others. We have so completely fallen for this version of the world that we expect…

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