“A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together’ for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:3-5)
Supplies: Advent wreath with the first two candles lit (optional), Lyrics to the song, Come, Holy Ghost (free download of the song may be found here: http://belovedschurch.org/hope/comeholyghost.php).
God, help us to tune out the distractions of this busy season. Help us prepare our hearts and minds as we look forward to celebrating the birth of your Son, Jesus and as we look forward to His second coming.
Does anyone have a morning routine? Homework routine? What is it?
Does anyone take the same route to school or work every day?
Are there times when there are distractions or diversions that keep you from accomplishing your routine? How does that make you feel?
Have you ever had distractions or events that prevented you from being as prepared as you should have been?
What was your response?
Say: Distractions can be (very) frustrating. When they are things that are out of our control, they can sometimes make us feel helpless, even angry. This week’s advent candle is sometimes called the “candle of preparation.” It’s a reminder to focus on what God is and has been doing in our lives. It also reminds us that we are that much closer to celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus.
Do distractions ever prevent you from worship? Personal time in the Word or prayer? What are they?
How do you keep from getting distracted during these times?
What are ways that we can prepare ourselves for the time we spend with Jesus? (Find a quiet place to study the Word, turning cell phones off, developing a routine for prayer and Bible study)
How does doing the things you mentioned help prepare your heart for Christmas? For Jesus’ second coming?
Read Scripture: A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together’ for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5
Isaiah is talking about preparing the way for Jesus, our Savior. We may sometimes feel like there are too many distractions, “uneven paths,” or “deserts,” that keep us from experiencing Jesus, through the Word, through prayer and through the work that He has already done on the cross. But as we prepare for Christmas, and the many distractions it brings, we can be thankful that Jesus has conquered all of the distractions, rough places and uneven ground in our lives.
Closing prayer: Use the song as a prayer that the Holy Spirit would guide and nurture our faith.
Come, Holy Ghost
Come Holy Ghost. Come God and Lord
With all your grace on us outpoured.
Come Holy Light. Come guide divine.
Now cause the Word of Life to shine.
Come Holy Fire and Comfort true.
Grant us the will your work to do.
(Veni Sancte Spiritus)
Lord, by your power prepare our hearts.
Where we are weak, Lord, strength impart.
That bravely here we may afford
Our life and death to you our Lord.