By Lilly Lewin
We move towards Thanksgiving here in the States and it seems every store is already ready for Christmas. Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday and Advent is often just a nice idea. Take some time to pause this weekend and reflect on all the things you have been blessed with and all the things you have to be thankful for! From the ability to type, to walking the dog….having running water to a beautiful sunset…
READ the psalm out loud in both versions....What is God’s word for you today? What is the Holy Spirit speaking to you about? What word or phrases stand out to you as you read and listen to this psalm? What is the response God is seeking from you?
Psalm 98 NIV
1 Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 2 The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 3 He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; 5 make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, 6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; 9 let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.
Psalm 98 The Message
Sing to God a brand-new song. He’s made a world of wonders!
He rolled up his sleeves, He set things right.
2 God made history with salvation, He showed the world what he could do.
3 He remembered to love us, a bonus To his dear family, Israel—indefatigable love.
The whole earth comes to attention. Look—God’s work of salvation!
4 Shout your praises to God, everybody! Let loose and sing! Strike up the band!
5 Round up an orchestra to play for God, Add on a hundred-voice choir.
6 Feature trumpets and big trombones, Fill the air with praises to King God.
7 Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause, With everything living on earth joining in.
8 Let ocean breakers call out, “Encore!” And mountains harmonize the finale—
9 A tribute to God when he comes, When he comes to set the earth right.
He’ll straighten out the whole world, He’ll put the world right, and everyone in it.
Take the time to journal and do these responses:
1. We are moving towards Thanksgiving and Advent…What things would you like to do in order to move closer to Jesus in the coming weeks? You might need to do less of something. You might choose to turn off media and be quiet or say no rather than yes to events, people or work. Talk to Jesus about this.
2. What image or word spoke to you in the psalm?
3. What things are making you crazy in your life or in our world right now? How would you like Jesus to put the world right and everyone in it? Tell Jesus about these things. How does this give you hope?
4. What things in nature help you connect with God or bring you hope?
5. What songs help you praise God? What other things help you praise God? Choose a song or a creative process, or walk in the woods or park to help you praise God this week. What will you choose? Go look for a new song or take time to listen to an old favorite.
6. Celtic Advent begins this weekend on November 16. ( or some say this evening at sundown) This is 40 days before Christmas. Traditional Advent begins on December 1st. Get a candle to light each evening to remind you that the Light is coming into the world!
The closing prayer from our thinplaceNASHVILLE gathering:
Lord! Give us grace today to love as you love. Help us to love with extravagance. Give us hope today for ourselves and others. Heal our hurts and our hearts today, So we can serve and help those around us. Help us to know that you are enough. And help us live today and everyday in thankfulness.
For all you’ve done and for all you bless us with. In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. AMEN
©lillylewin and freerangeworship.com
Find resources for Advent Sacred Space and Christmas prayer stations here!