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Advent 1 - Hope
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
-- Jeremiah 29:11
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
-- 1 Peter 1:13
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy spirit, who has been given to us.
-- Romans 5:5
Power of Prayer
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
. . . . 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
. . . . Romans 8:26
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
. . . . Mark 11:24
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
. . . . Matthew 6:9-13
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
-- Psalm 100
We Remember - A Communion Reflection
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread.
1 Corinthians 11:23
And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:24
In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:25
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
1 Corinthians 11:26
God's Gift of this Day
“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
- Psalm 118:24
“and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
- Ephesians 5:2
"Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is."
- Ephesians 5:17
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
- Hebrews 11:16
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
- Proverbs 3: 5-6
"Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe? All things are possible for one who believes."
- Mark 9:23
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
- Ephesians 2: 8-9
"And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."
- Matthew 21:22
Sin and Foregiveness
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
- Ephesians 4:32
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
- Matthew 6:14
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.' "
- Matthew 18:21-22
You Matter to God
"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Romans 5:8
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
- Jeremiah 29:11
"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows."
- Luke 12: 6-7
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
- Isaiah 41:10
Let's Worship Together
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
- Matthew 18:20
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
- Hebrews 10:24-25
"Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!"
- Psalm 95:6
We Are Gathered Here
“Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law.”
- Deuteronomy 31:12
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
- Matthew 18:20
“Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”
- Acts 11:25-26