Begins November 27
Each year as Christmas approaches, nativity scenes start to appear in homes, churches, and businesses. At the center of each scene stands a manger waiting to hold the Christ Child. This Advent, we invite you to “Be the Manger” so that Christ can truly be born in you this year. In order to “Be the Manger,” you will need to be like a manger: be ready, be sturdy, be empty, and be still. Join us on Sundays and Wednesdays this Advent as we prepare to welcome the birth of Jesus into our world and into our hearts as we make our way to Christmas, where we are invited to behold his glory once again.
Pick up devotion booklets in the Narthex.
Throughout Advent, families can sing the words of the beloved Christmas song “Away in the Manger” and talk about being the manger to welcome the baby Jesus at Christmas. As you use this daily devotional, children can add stickers to the poster map to Bethlehem. There, in his hay-filled bed, children will discover the Little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay. With scripture and a thoughtful, reflective prayer for each day of advent, this devotion leads little hearts and minds to Bethlehem and the sweet, joyous celebration birth of our Savior on Christmas when we sing together “be born in us today!”
This Advent, we invite you to “Be the Manger” so that Christ can truly be born in you this year. As we look toward the physical birth of our Savior, Jesus, we are reminded in these devotions for Advent that Christ is born in us spiritually today and every day. He enters into us daily to strengthen and support us, save us and renew us. We are changed by his presence within us as we become more and more like him in the living of our lives.
Sundays of Advent – 9 & 11 AM
Wednesdays of Advent – 7 PM
Please Note: December 11 is one service at 10am and will be live streamed. Use the above link beginning at 10am on that day to worship from home.
First Week of Advent – Be Ready
The new church year begins with a wake-up call: Christ is coming soon! In today’s readings both Paul and Jesus challenge us to wake from sleep, for we know neither the day nor hour of the Lord’s coming. Though we vigilantly watch for the promised day of salvation, we wait for what we already have: Christ comes among us this day as the word and meal that strengthens our faith in the promises of God. So this Advent, in our efforts to “Be the Manger” we hear the call to be ready. Be ready in heart, mind, and spirit to welcome Christ once again into our lives and into the world.
Second Week of Advent – Be Sturdy
At the heart of our Advent preparation stands John the Baptist, who calls us to repent and make a new beginning. As the darkness increases in the Northern Hemisphere, we turn toward the approaching light of Christ. For Christians he is the root of Jesse, the righteous judge who welcomes all, especially the poor and meek of the earth. So this Advent, in our efforts to “Be the Manger” we hear the call to be sturdy. We must be sturdy so that we can withstand the repentance we need to welcome Christ once again into our lives and into the world. We must be sturdy like the stump of Jesse, for from this seemingly dead stump the hope we need will flourish!
Third Week of Advent – Be Empty
The popularity of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was established in England on Christmas Eve, 1918, in the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England, where the dean of the college sought to soften attitudes about religion following “The Great War.” Having served on the front lines, he knew personally the devastating effects of battle on one’s faith.
The nine lessons to Christians throughout the world the story of our salvation – from the fall of humanity to the birth of Christ. The lessons are interspersed with carols, which were introduced in 129 AD when a Roman Bishop declared a song called “Angels Hymn” should be sung at the Christmas service. This slowly developed and by the 1200s carols were common in the various Christian churches of Europe. For the non-reading folk of the Middle Ages, the carols were an easy way to understand the Christmas story, similar to the visual stories of the great stained glass windows.
Join with the musicians and choir of Triumphant Love in this special tradition as we worship with the familiar readings and carols of Advent and Christmastide and are invited once again to “Be the Manger” this Advent. As we are emptied of all that separates us from God, may the Word and our carols fill the manger of our hearts to welcome Christ once again!
Fourth Week of Advent – Be Still
Names are powerful makers of meaning both in the scriptures and in our lives. Consider how much we associate people with their names. A name is merely a word, a sound, yet it can completely represent a person. And our names can be powerful. The texts for the fourth Sunday of Advent invite us to explore the name “Emmanuel.” And he shall be called “Emmanuel,” God with us. This reality changes everything. Never is God so with us as in Jesus of Nazareth. Here is God-made-flesh, and in his very name, the Son of God proclaims just how with us and for us God really is, and yet like Joseph, we need to be still in order to realize that God is with us. So this Advent, in our efforts to “Be the Manger,” we hear a call to stillness so that God can once again be with us in the manger of our hearts.
Join us on Christmas Eve at one of our 3 services:
4:00pm: Children’s ensembles, Carols, Candlelight, Holy Communion
6:00pm: Praise Band, Carols with a Contemporary Flare, Candlelight, Holy Communion
8:00pm: Choir, Traditional Carols, Candlelight, Holy Communion.
The 6:00pm service will be live streamed HERE.
Sunday, December 25 will be online pre-recorded worship only. Watch the recording HERE.