For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only,
unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him
will never perish but experience everlasting life. John 3:16
SAY These candles represent hope, preparation, joy, and love. Jesus is God's gift of love. God's love takes everything that is oriented toward death and reorients it toward life.
LIGHT four candles: purple, purple, rose, purple.
ASK What is love?
SHARE Love is caring more about others than yourself. Love gives up and gives away. God is love.
READ Luke 1:40-56 Magnificat (New Testament for Everyone)
Mary said, "My soul declares that the Lord is great, my spirit exults in my saviour, my God. He saw his servant-girl in her humility; from now, I'll be blessed by all peoples to come.
The Powerful One, whose name is Holy, has done great things for me, for me. His mercy extends from father to son, from mother to daughter for those who fear him.
Powerful things he has done with his arm: he routed the arrogant through their own cunning.
Down from their thrones he hurled the rulers, up from the earth he raised the humble. The hungry he filled with the fat of the land, but the rich he sent off with nothing to eat. He has rescued his servant, Israel his child,
because he remembered his mercy of old, just as he said to our long-ago ancestors –
Abraham and his descendants forever."
Mary stayed with Elisabeth for three months, and then returned home.
ART Look at the picture of Mary. What do you notice about this image? Where do you see love? How does the serpent's curse of Genesis 3 reflect in this image and in Mary's song?
“I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” Gen 3:15
DISCUSS How does Mary's "Yes!" to God begin to unravel the curse of Genesis 3? How does this reveal God's love? How do you think Mary experienced God's love? How do you experience God's love? In what ways can we show God's love?
COLLECT New Zealand Prayer Book God of love, you chose the blessed virgin Mary to be the mother of your only Son; grant that we who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord who is alive with with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and for ever. Amen.
PRAYER Stir up your power, O Lord, and come. Help us by your great might, that whatever is hindered by our sins may be speedily accomplished for your glory; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Historic Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, Gelasian, 8th Century)
Additional Readings: II Samuel 7:1-11, 16, Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26, Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38
Advent invites active Kingdom participation
that offers hope to a weary world.
Advent Guide Download
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The artwork "On the Way" by Cody Wood can be viewed digitally or printed for non-commercial use only. We recommend printing on heavy card stock for best viewing.
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