Read Romans 8:18-25
Re-read verse 23: what might the “first fruits of the Spirit” be?
Note: verse 25 includes the word “hypomone” for how we wait for that which we hope for. Hypomone is defined as: “patient, enduring, sustaining, perseverance, and steadfast”
What do we learn about the New Testament’s value for patience through this passage?
Read Romans 13:11-14 and Matthew 24:36-44.
What does patience look like in these passages? What should we be doing as we patiently wait for the realization of our Hope?
This coming Sunday’s service will be more liturgical than is normal for North Harbor. It will include a call-and-response reading [this includes a “Celebrant” (leader) reading passages that the “People” all respond to together]. This reading in particular is designed to prepare our hearts for Advent through confessing our sins and both looking and asking eagerly for Christ to enter.
READ this call-and-response (pasted below).
Flesh out some of the words we’ll speak collectively with your own more personal details – what specific things do you need to confess? Where do you long to see more of Jesus?
How do the verses you read before speak into or support the words we’ll say together through this reading?
Call-and-Response Reading: OPENING OURSELVES TO ADVENT
The Lamb of God comes with pardon, giving hope to all creation. In hope and confidence, then, as Your children, God, we arrive at Advent season to wait with honest longings in our hearts. It is with true hope that we pray:
God of all creation, we wait for the fullness of You, for the intimacy of You. Forgive us, God, for the times we have lived against You, for acting or not acting, in ignorance, and spoiling the abundance You give.
O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High, pervading all creation, to balance all things with strength and gentleness, come now and teach us the way to salvation. Come, Lord Jesus.
God, we confess that we have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength. Forgive us for missing You everywhere, for not setting aside time to rest in You, for treating Your name like any other.
O Adonai, ruler of the house of Israel, who appeared as an eternal flame to Moses and gave him the law on Sinai, extend Your hand to us. Come, Lord Jesus.
God, we are at one another’s throats. If we can divide, we will, time and again. Forgive our part in injustice. Who are we to judge who is in the right? What’s good and bad? Who are we to judge sin and righteousness? Who are we to place ourselves in Your seat of judgment? Forgive us for rejecting Your prophets and messengers of peace, forgive us for not seeing that Your way is for us, for fighting against ourselves, our brothers and sisters, and against You and Your creation.
O Root of Jesse, sprouting as a sign for one and all, Your presence humbles the rulers of earth, everyone will honor You. Bring us to You. Come soon Lord Jesus.
O Key of David and scepter of the House of Israel, You open what no person can close. You close what no man can open. You have become the gateway, calling through our abandoned souls. Come and lead us through You, Jesus.
God, there are days we survive only by diving deep inside ourselves. We wince at Your glory and survive by our vices. Forgive us for worshipping passing pleasures. For lying, wasting, using and wanting more and more.
O Radiant Dawn of the East, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: Give light to those who sit in darkness, bring life to those who have found comfort in the shadow of death. Come, Lord Jesus.
God, we are bound to make mistakes, but thankfully because of Your grace we not bound to our mistakes forever. We agree we need You to liberate us time and time again. For all the times we’ve missed You being in front of us or behind us, forgive us.
O King of the Gentiles, the One in whom we desire, the cornerstone that brings all together, come and deliver us, the ones whom you formed from dust and breath.
O Immanuel, our sovereign mediator, heart of Your people, savior of all, come and save us, O Lord our God. Come, Lord Jesus.
Time of Reflection.
Graceful God, ever faithful to Your promises, the earth actively hopes to know Your presence here, now, and always. Bless our minds to recognize You. Bless our hearts to accept You. Bless our arms to receive You.