Preparation for Advent Services - Christ holds our flesh in His!

As we prepare for the Advent season, I’d like to share the poem, Christ Child, my favorite poem written by dear friends John and Nancy McKenna. First published in The Burning Green (1996, Wipf and Stock), it is more recently found on p. 318 of The Great AMEN of the Great I-AM: God in covenant with His people in His creation, by John McKenna (2008, Wipf & Stock Publishers), where John uses their poem to punctuate the conclusion of chapter eight, “The Church and the World.” We are bid to ponder the wondrous and surprising message that Christ holds our flesh in His! Thanks John and Nancy!

Also below is a list of 14 ideas for a progression of four Advent services, sent to us from Ted Johnston, writer / moderator of The Surprising God. Thank you Ted!
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Christ Child
by John and Nancy McKenna

Like the seas change
Land and the longing
Dark wraps like arms
The earth in sound,
A small child pushes in his hand
His dreams into a blue sky.
And round the beginningless roar
He alone who reigns holily
Shall take and hold,
For as long as forever is,
Their flesh in His.


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Fourteen ideas for a progression of four Advent services

*Hope - Isaiah 9:2

*Peace - Isaiah 9:6-7; John 14:27

*Joy - Isaiah 65:18; Galatians 5:22-25

*Love - Deuteronomy 10:17-19a; John 13:34-35



*God’s People - Isaiah 64.1-9

*OT Prophets - Jeremiah 33.12-16

*John the Baptist - Matthew 3.1-12

*Mary - Luke 1.26-38



*Waiting - Isaiah 52:7-10

*Accepting - Luke 1:26-38

*Journeying - Isaiah 55:6-13

*Birthing - Luke 2:1-7



*Expectation - Luke 1:5-17

*Bethlehem - Micah 5:2

*Angels - Luke 1:26-38

*Shepherds - Luke 2:8-20



*Expectation - Luke 21: 25-36

*Preparation - Luke 1: 68-79
*Repentance - Luke 3: 7-18

*Rejoice Luke - 1: 39-55



*The prophets - Jeremiah 33.12-16

*John the Baptist - Matthew 3.1-12

*Mary - Luke 1.26-38

*Three Kings - Matthew 2:1-12



*Expectation - Isaiah 42: 1-9

*Annunciation - Luke 1:26-38

*Proclamation - Luke 3.7-18

*Fulfillment - Luke 21: 25-36



*People with a Song - Psalm 147:1-3,12-14

*Song of a Brother and a Sister - Ex 15:1-21

*Two Songs of the Big Night - Luke 2:8-10

*Song of Mary - Luke 1:46-55



*Here Comes God! - Micah 1:2-3

*Like a Plowed Field - Micah 3:12

*The Poor Man's Ruler - Micah 5:2

*The Strong Shepherd - Micah 5:4



*Anticipation - Isaiah 25:6-26:6

*Patience - Romans 8:25

*Hope - 1 Peter 1:3

*Revelation - Hebrews 1:1-4



*He Reveals Himself - Exodus 3:1-15

*He Calls Us for Life - 1 Samuel 3:1-10

*He Stretches Us - Jonah (selected verses)

* He Accomplishes Great Things - Luke 1:26-38



*Comfort My People! - Isaiah 40:1-2

*The Straight Highway - Isaiah 40:3-5

*The Breath of God - Isaiah 40:6-8

*God's Good Tidings - Isaiah 40:9

*Mary's song - Luke 1:46-55

*Zechariah's - song Luke 1:67-79

*John the Baptist's song - Luke 3:1-18

*Angels' song - Luke 2:14



*Coming to Execute Justice - Isaiah 25:6-26:6

*Coming to Forgive Sins - Ephesians 1:3-14

*Coming to Renew Love - 1 John 4:13-16

*Coming to Feed the Hungry - John 6:50-51

As always, ideas, comments, suggestions and questions are most welcome. Blessings, as you prepare to worship, serve and share during this Advent season!


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