Filter By:

Monday, Dec 4 | Jesus is knocking


Editor's Note

About the author: 
Andrew and his wife Abby joined ZPC in 2015. They have two school aged children Sam and Leah. Andrew is a current ZPC Elder.

About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals where we are exploring traditional Advent themes of waiting, mystery, redemption, and incarnation. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc advent to 39970. Advent booklets are also available at the ZPC Welcome Center.

Waiting | Revelation 3:20

I recently completed the Monumental Marathon in downtown Indianapolis. As I lumbered through those 26.2 miles, I was so focused on the finish that I missed most of the race itself. I didn’t take in the sights along the way: the crowd cheering for complete strangers out of goodwill and generosity, the clever signs reminding me that I paid for this agony, the beautiful homes along Meridian Street, or the picturesque grounds of the IMA. I spent 18 weeks preparing for something I couldn’t wait to finish.

During Advent, I find we are so focused on the end at Christmas, that we miss the season itself. We race through the weeks leading up to Jesus’ arrival at Christmas and miss the fact that Jesus has been here all along. Revelation 3:20 reminds us that Jesus stands at the door knocking, inviting us into relationship with him: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Jesus is already here; he surrounds us, and he is present in those around us. As we wait with excitement for Christmas, we must remember that Jesus is here now if we open the door to him. He is present in our waiting. Jesus is knocking. Open the door.

ACTIVITY

Take time this Advent season to open the door and spend time with Jesus. Set aside 10 minutes each day to pause from the frenzy of the season and seek him. The ZPC Advent Devotional is a great opportunity to pause daily and reset your focus on what is most important. Each day will have a different post reflecting on Advent. 

PRAYER

Lord, give us eyes to see you and ears to hear you this Christmas season. Help us slow down to make time for you. We pray that the busyness of the season—the shopping, the parties, the preparation, and the waiting—wouldn’t distract us from you. Help us to more fully love you and love others this season, so that we don’t simply race past. Thank you for coming to us and for walking among us.

In Jesus’ name we pray,

Amen.

Posted by Andrew Perrin with

Sunday, Dec 3 | Waiting for a savior


Editor's Note

About the authors:
Amy and Kristin are children's ministry coordinators at ZPC. Kristin oversees ministry for children from birth through age 4 and Amy oversees ministry for children age 5 through 4th grade.

About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals where we are exploring traditional Advent themes of waiting, mystery, redemption, and incarnation. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc advent to 39970. Advent booklets are also available at the ZPC Welcome Center.

Waiting for a savior | Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 62:5-8

Advent is a time of joy, when we happily look forward to the coming of Jesus. As a matter of fact, the word Advent actually means “coming.” People had been told of Jesus’ coming before he was even born. Today’s scripture in Isaiah tells of the coming of Jesus and it was written hundreds of years before God sent him to earth. Through God foretelling the coming of Jesus in the Old Testament, a spirit of waiting had been planted in his people. They were waiting for a king. They were waiting to be rescued. They were waiting for their savior.

In that same spirit of expectation and anticipation, thousands of years later, we await the celebration of the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day. To mark the weeks of waiting and anticipation we light candles on an Advent Wreath. The Advent Wreath is a symbol of the coming of Jesus, our light unto the world. It has three purple candles and one pink candle. One candle is lit on the first week of Advent, and one more is added every week until Christmas. Every week it gets a bit brighter because we are getting closer to Jesus’ birthday!

Advent Wreath Activity                       

  1. Print off these pages. Color the flames and the holly with marker so they’re more vibrant, and color the actual candle with crayon so the words will be more visible.
  2. Cut out the candles.
  3. Wrap the candle printables around a toilet paper tube. (You can also use paper towel rolls cut down or a cylinder of card stock.) Tape the printable on the little tab (which has a reminder about which Sunday of Advent it is) and then tape the opposite edge. The candle flames can be lit or unlit by gently folding and pushing the flame inside the tube where it isn’t visible.
  4. The candles can sit on/in an evergreen wreath or you can make a wreath with a paper plate. Trace a glass to make the circle in the middle and then draw four Xs that are about 1 3/4” in length.
  5. Adults or older kids, cut out the circle and the Xs. 
  6. If you have a green plate, you could stop here, or you can add leaves as decoration. One of the printables has holly & berries you can use and you can cut out some simple leaves from green paper.
  7. Glue the leaves and the berries on the plate, not covering up the Xs that you cut out.
  8. Put glue on the Xs and put the candle on top. To stabilize it and make the glue stick, roll up a strip of cardstock (about 8” long), put a little glue on it, and stick it on the inside of the Xs. Let it unfurl and it will help everything stick together as it dries.
  9. Let it all dry and use it to count down the weeks as we wait for the coming of Christ!

Prayer

Dear God of Wonder,
Thank you for sending Jesus, who fills our lives with light and truth. This Christmas help me stop and think about what I am really waiting and preparing for–your son Jesus’ birthday. Help me remember to pray to you everyday. Help me see how much you love me with each week that goes by. Let every activity I do remind me of Jesus’ birth and the forgiveness he provides me. I pray for a wide-open heart and a quiet mind to see the Holy Spirit and do what he asks of me during the Advent season and always.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 

12...14151617181920212223 ... 4647