St. Matthew's UMC > GPS > GPS Week of December 23, 2018

GPS Week of December 23, 2018

Monday – John 1:1-14
The words of this scripture are familiar, comforting and hopeful. They remind us that God had a plan from the very beginning to be in relationship with us, to show us love, and to incorporate us into the family of God. In the busyness and rush of this holiday season we are invited this Christmas Eve to pause and celebrate the truth that God came to us here on earth so we would know the fullness of life with God. How can you embrace the richness of God’s love in your life today?

Prayer: God, you came and lived amongst. You have known the joy, pain, blessing and suffering of human life. Remind us today that you are with us and your love lasts forever. Amen.

Tuesday – Matthew 1:18-25
Today as you celebrate Christmas think about Mary and Joseph. Each of them made a choice to follow God’s command. Instead of choosing to abandon their faith, instead of choosing to abandon one another they remained united and faithful. How can you follow the models of Mary and Joseph and live faithfully following God?

Prayer: God of Mary and Joseph, in their example you remind us to follow your commands. Invite us today to follow you as we celebrate the birth of your Son. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Wednesday – Isaiah 9:1-7
This traditional Christmas scripture is filled with surprising darkness. It describes oppression and war. Simultaneously it illustrates the joy of living in the light of God and the gift of Jesus Christ. Four phrases describe Jesus, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. How can you encounter Jesus as each of these? How can you faithfully experience Jesus as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace in the midst of struggling and darkness?

Prayer: Jesus you are Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Help me to experience theses truths of you today. Amen.

Thursday – Luke 2:8-20
A common theme throughout the nativity story God’s reversal of power and strength. Instead of Jesus being born in wealth, he was born to a young peasant girl. Instead of being born in a proper room Jesus was born in a stable. And the Shepherds, the first people the birth of Jesus was announced to were those working the “night-shift.” This story invites us to humble ourselves before God. In what parts of your life have you found God reversing your expectations? How can God’s reversal of human expectations shift our values?

Prayer: God of Heaven and earth, in the humble hearts of shepherds you shared the story of the birth of our King. Surprise us, turn our expectations upside down, teach us to follow the king of humility. Amen.

Friday – Galatians 4:3-7
When we imagine the Holy Family, we see Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus. Do you imagine yourself in the scene? Galatians 4 teaches us that because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection we are God’s children. We are members of God’s family. As members of God’s family we are freed from the things of our past, the things that held us back and oppressed. How can you live in the freedom as a member of God’s family?

Prayer: God of freedom, thank you for welcoming us into your family. Help us to live each day as your sons and daughters. Amen.

Saturday – Luke 1:57-80
Elizabeth and Zechariah celebrate the birth of their son John the Baptist. Zechariah sings God praise, not unlikely Mary sings to God earlier in Luke 1. Christmas Season is a time of special music and songs. The world at large was not that way during the season just before Jesus birth – but for those in whose lives God was at work, it was different. They sang songs of joy and expectancy like Zechariah. How can you continue to celebrate the joy of Jesus’ birth even after the Christmas season has ended?

Prayer: God during Christmas we sing our favorite songs and proclaim our joy at the birth of you son. Today, we pray, that we never lose sight of this joy. Amen.

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