For an easy to print copy of this year’s Advent reflection click HERE
AS YOU GATHER:
Light a main candle of Hope and give everyone an unlit tea candle to hold as you pray or sing – Come Lord Jesus.
Wait in Joyful Hope Musical Chant by Michael Herry fms (Marist Music) is HERE
Leader or Shared Readers Pray: In the Name of the Father….
1) Lord, we are in a season when every heart should be happy and light, yet in 2020 many of us are struggling with the heaviness of life—burdens that steal the joy right out of our stockings.
ALL: Come Lord Jesus.
2) Struggles haunt this year as innocent victims suffer and an inner voice whispers, “Be afraid!” We need your peace, Jesus. We confess that our hearts are too often filled with wonder of a different kind: wondering when the bills will be paid, when the wars, pandemic, terror, and uncertainty will stop, when rest will come. Will it ever? Is the message still true? In a world where worry, not peace, prevails, stir up that good news in us again.
ALL: Come Lord Jesus.
3) It feels like we have never needed Your joy and peace more than now. Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Emmanuel, the Word made flesh, God WITH us. You have promised rest for the weary, victory for the battle-scarred, peace for the anxious, and acceptance for the broken hearted—not just at Advent, but every day of every year.
ALL: Come Lord Jesus
4) Your name is called “Wonderful,” “Counsellor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” and “The Prince of Peace.” We know that peace on earth only comes when hearts find peace with You. You are our Joy. You are our Peace. You are not just a babe in the manger. You are Lord of lords and King of kings today. And we celebrate You as Lord—this Christmas and always.
ALL: Come Lord Jesus
Share an Advent Hymn or instrumental music as each person lights their tealight Candle and places it around the main Candle.
Share the Word – Isaiah 52:7-9
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.
Share a word or phrase that strikes you from the Scripture.
Laudato Si’ 222
“A constant flood of new consumer goods can baffle the heart and prevent us from cherishing each thing and each moment. To be serenely present to each reality, however small it may be, opens us to much greater horizons of understanding and personal fulfilment.” Pope Francis
Some Advent suggestions with our whanau are:
1. Share moments instead of material things – keep family traditions alive or build new ones.
2. Be aware of the environmental impact of purchases – consider 2nd-hand goods & reduce wrapping waste.
3. Let creation be part of your season. Pray at the beach or on a bush or neighbourhood walk.
4. Give experiences rather than objects – a great way to show love is to give the gift of attention. “I will…”
5. Donate goods, donate in someone’s name, or buy from a firm that donates profit or percentages.
6. Reflect – What are my talents? How can I use them for God?
Pray for each other’s needs and then Pray this closing prayer Together:
Thank You, Lord, that You are The Wonderful Counsellor and Prince of Peace, WITH us, even in our not-so-merry circumstances. Lord, we ask You to grant us peace. Peace in our homes, peace in our churches, and peace in our hearts, peace in our country and in all the countries ravaged by war, pandemic, or terror. When the world around us spins out-of-control help us stay focused on You, this Advent and always. Thank You for loving the whole world enough to send the greatest gift, Jesus, Your Son, so that we might truly have a very merry Christmas. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Mary, Mother of God, Queen of peace, Pray for us and for the whole world. Amen.
Conclude with Advent/Christmas Carols in the joy of being together as part of Christ’s family.