Saturday, November 29, 2008

Introduction to "Christmas at the OASIS”

Devotional Readings and Prayers for the Season of Advent

Just thinking about everything that has to be done before Christmas can spike our stress level. Some of us secretly dread the season, knowing that all the bustle and “ho ho ho-ing” around us will make our sadness, loneliness, or fear even worse.
The image of a kaleidoscope comes to mind—a jumble of constantly changing shapes and colors—yet always resolving into a pattern of light and beauty. Like everyone else, Christians can be pulled in many directions at this time of year, but we do have an opportunity to stop, ponder, reflect and rejoice in a wonderful promise. That is the promise of Advent.

“Advent” means “coming.” The Lord is coming! We reflect on Jesus arriving as a babe at His first coming, and we look forward to his second advent when he makes all things new once again. Each Sunday of Advent an additional candle is lit, and then on Christmas Day the Christ candle, in the center of the wreath may be lit.

As we light the candles on an Advent wreath, whether at home or at church, we reflect on a different aspect of the season—Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy! “Christmas at the Oasis” invites you to consider the following themes, as you take a rest at a place of spiritual water.

Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. Revelation 22:17

Offer Hope
We light the candle of Hope: The people of Israel waited in hope for their Messiah to come. We have the message of hope for our world today, the true hope found in Christ.

Advance God’s Kingdom
We light the candle of Peace. We advance God’s Kingdom as we share the peace that comes through relationship with the Prince of Peace.

Share God’s Love
We light the candle of Love. We share God’s love with others, because God loved us so much that he sent Jesus Christ the Son into this world to save us.

Invest in People
We light the candle of Joy. One of the simplest ways to invest in other’s lives is to share our own faith journey with God, our own joy in the new life Christ brings.

Seek God’s Purpose
The Sunday following Christmas Day, we will remember the wise men from the east who followed a star, seeking a King, and we will ask ourselves what it is we will seek for in the coming year.

We will begin the series with an early-morning post on Sunday, November 30th, the first day of Advent 2008.

My daughter, Kris, wrote several of the devotions. We hope they can help all of us take time to read, reflect and pray, either alone or with family during this Christmastime May blessings of hope, peace, love and joy be yours



Iris Godfrey said...

I look forward to reading them.
Your new banner is lovely. Thanks for being willing to write and share your hear. You encourage me!

Auntie Knickers said...

Thanks! Now I know that however frantic or forgetful I become, I'll see your daily devotion on my blogroll and be prompted to stop, think and pray.

Anonymous said...

Thanks--looking forward to the daily devotions.

Psalmist said...

I'm so glad you're sharing these, S.O. I have loved posting my own these past couple of years, but I don't have it in me to do it this year.

You are a rare jewel, you know that?

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Thanks, everyone. Psalmist, I hope you are encouraged. As for being a jewel, I think that would be you dear one!