UMCGiving

December 19 – 4th Sunday of Advent

 Moment for Mission

“He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed. He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, remembering his mercy.” — Luke 1:53-54, CEB

I savor the words of Isaiah, who calls us to “walk in the light of the Lord!” (Isaiah 2:5 NRSV). How do we do this? The prophet gives us the road map for our Advent journey.

First, we learn from God. Isaiah 2:3 (NRSV) calls us to “go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways.” Study God’s word with intentionality. Engage in an Advent Bible study or devotion. Set aside time to ponder what Christ’s coming means to your life personally. Consider also what God wants you to do about it.

Second, consider how your faith is a part of God’s master plan for the world. Isaiah speaks of all nations coming to the Lord’s holy mountain (Isaiah 2:2). God wants to reach all of humanity. God’s plan has always been for the salvation of the world. And God’s inclusive outreach should be ours as well. We can walk in the light and see the face of Christ among those in need when we minister among them in love. Then we discover and share the true meaning of Christmas.

Finally, practice God’s peace plan! Isaiah proclaims that God “shall judge between the nations,…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4 NRSV).

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with each of us during this holy season!

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, teach us to walk in your light and to share the gift of peace with everyone we encounter. Show us how to serve at home and around the world. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Fourth Sunday of Advent — Magnificent God, as we focus on Mary, the mother of Jesus, we are reminded that you do great wonders and signs through the most humble and obedient of your children. As we give our gifts to you this day, give us ears to hear the whispers of the angels speaking to us; give us eyes to see the needy and the unloved all around us; and give us faith to offer our lives to your plan of saving love. In Christ, our redeemer, we pray. Amen. (Luke 1:39-45)

Newsletter Nugget
Peace on earth begins with us. With whom do you need to reconcile? This takes hard work and a willingness to take the responsibility for making amends.

Peace comes through justice. We are called to advocate for human rights and dignity for all people.

It is risky business to speak up for the downtrodden, be they undocumented immigrants and refugees, people who are trafficked and enslaved for sex and labor in our own neighborhoods, people who can’t get health insurance, or LGBTQ+ people who still are denied their full civil rights.

Justice is risky business. Peace comes at a high price. May we ponder and then pursue what God wants us to do personally in the realm of peacemaking.

During this holy season of Advent, be blessed, but also be a blessing. Walk in Christ’s light, and share that light with others. Only then can we experience the true meaning of Christmas in all its joy, peace, love and hope.

Adapted from “Walk in the Light,” Bishop Peggy A. Johnson, Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference, Dec. 2, 2019. Used by permission.