Walking and Waiting in Love
“Our God is a God of justice and righteousness (Jeremiah 33:14-16). During the Advent season, we are reminded that we are called to learn his ways and walk in the paths of humility and love (Psalm 25:1-9). As we look to his return (Luke 21:25-36), we pray and give thanks, desiring to become holy as he is holy (1 Thessalonians 3:9-13).” -Thomas Oden
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.
“Christ the King Sunday focuses our worship on the cosmic character of Christ’s reign over the world. It is a proclamation to all that everything in creation and culture must submit to Christ and an invitation to actively and joyfully submit to his rule. The day is celebrated widely in some traditions and is normally scheduled on the last Sunday before Advent. It therefore serves as a transitional Sunday leading directly into Advent, the Christmas cycle, and the new Christian year. The day fits well with the eschatological emphasis and anticipation of Christ’s second coming highlighted during Advent. It also helps worshipers, who are already thinking about Christmas, to remember that Christmas is about much more than a baby in a manger—it is about a sovereign Christ who came to be the ‘Prince of Peace.'”
Confidence in Our Creator “Lord, we take refuge in you (Psalm 16), for you listen to our despair (1 Samuel 1:4-20) and know the future (Mark 13:1-8). Therefore, we draw near to you, holding to your promises (Hebrews 10:11-25).”-Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional
Perfect Sacrifice “All is vain, unless it is done for the Lord (Psalm 127 and Psalm 146). Even when what we are asked to do seems difficult (Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17), we must be willing to sacrifice everything (Mark 12:38-44) for the One who gave us his only Son as a sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:24-28).”
-Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional