Advent Devotional Dec. 7

Welcome to Lord Of Life’s Advent Devotions for 2015.  Our theme centers around Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, which will also the be theme of our Wednesday evening services.  This devotional is in the form of a homily – a line-by-line discussion of A Christmas Carol – not the whole story, but the Spark Notes summary.  When you see the words What Think Ye: please interpret as “discussion starter for our family or group” or “meditation focus” if by yourself.

advent 2015 banner dickens

Opening Prayer:  Lord, guide us as we ponder the ways in which this story and your story may influence our story – as our lives unfold today.  Amen.

December 7th

Marley hopes to save Scrooge from sharing the same fate, condemned to wander the Earth weighted down with heavy chains.

What Think Ye:  Can/do we learn from others, or do we “prefer” to make our own mistakes?

Closing Prayer: May we live this day more deeply aware of your presence – in our past, in our present, and in our future. Amen.

For our complete Advent-Christmas schedule, please click here


Advent Devotional Dec. 6

Welcome to Lord Of Life’s Advent Devotions for 2015.  Our theme centers around Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, which will also the be theme of our Wednesday evening services.  This devotional is in the form of a homily – a line-by-line discussion of A Christmas Carol – not the whole story, but the Spark Notes summary.  When you see the words What Think Ye: please interpret as “discussion starter for our family or group” or “meditation focus” if by yourself.

advent 2015 banner dickens

Opening Prayer:  Lord, guide us as we ponder the ways in which this story and your story may influence our story – as our lives unfold today.  Amen.

December 6th

Marley, looking haggard and pallid, relates his unfortunate story. As punishment for his greedy and self-serving life his spirit has been condemned to wander the Earth weighted down with heavy chains.

Marley is burdened by his “greedy and self-serving” life – the consequences of which he has not escaped even by death.  How he lived has created burdens he still carries – burdens which affect what he is doing now.

What Think Ye:  Do you carry around any “heavy chains”, burdens that affect what you are doing today?

Closing Prayer: May we live this day more deeply aware of your presence – in our past, in our present, and in our future. Amen.

For our complete Advent-Christmas schedule, please click here


Advent Devotional Dec. 5

Welcome to Lord Of Life’s Advent Devotions for 2015.  Our theme centers around Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, which will also the be theme of our Wednesday evening services.  This devotional is in the form of a homily – a line-by-line discussion of A Christmas Carol – not the whole story, but the Spark Notes summary.  When you see the words What Think Ye: please interpret as “discussion starter for our family or group” or “meditation focus” if by yourself.

advent 2015 banner dickens

 

 

Opening Prayer:  Lord, guide us as we ponder the ways in which this story and your story may influence our story – as our lives unfold today.  Amen.

JACOB MARLEYDecember 5th

Later that evening, after returning to his dark, cold apartment, Scrooge receives a chilling visitation from the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley.

Scrooge’s “this year is the same as last year” life is abruptly disrupted by a “life changing event”.

What Think Ye:  Have you experienced such a “life changing event”?

Closing Prayer: May we live this day more deeply aware of your presence – in our past, in our present, and in our future. Amen.
For our complete Advent-Christmas schedule, please click here


Advent Devotional Dec. 4

Welcome to Lord Of Life’s Advent Devotions for 2015.  Our theme centers around Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, which will also the be theme of our Wednesday evening services.  This devotional is in the form of a homily – a line-by-line discussion of A Christmas Carol – not the whole story, but the Spark Notes summary.  When you see the wordS “WHAT THINK YE?”: please interpret as “discussion starter for our family or group” or “meditation focus” if by yourself.

advent 2015 banner dickens
Opening Prayer: Lord, guide us as we ponder the ways in which this story and your story may influence our story – as our lives unfold today. Amen.

SCROOGE BAH HUMBUGDecember 4th

Scrooge reacts to the holiday visitors with bitterness and venom, spitting out an angry “Bah! Humbug!” in response to his nephew’s “Merry Christmas!”

True to form, Scrooge reacts as he does every year, with dread for the approaching festivities.

what think ye:  What do you dread about the upcoming season? What would you want to change?
Closing Prayer: May we live this day more deeply aware of your presence – in our past, in our present, and in our future. Amen.

For our complete Advent-Christmas schedule, please click here


Advent Devotional Dec. 3

Welcome to Lord Of Life’s Advent Devotions for 2015.  Our theme centers around Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, which will also the be theme of our Wednesday evening services.  This devotional is in the form of a homily – a line-by-line discussion of A Christmas Carol – not the whole story, but the Spark Notes summary.  When you see the wordS “WHAT THINK YE?”: please interpret as “discussion starter for our family or group” or “meditation focus” if by yourself.
advent 2015 banner dickens
Opening Prayer: Lord, guide us as we ponder the ways in which this story and your story may influence our story – as our lives unfold today. Amen.
NEPHEW FREDDecember 3rd

Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, pays his uncle a visit and invites him to his annual Christmas party.  Two portly gentlemen also drop by and ask Scrooge for a contribution to their charity.

Even though Scrooge’s response is unlikely to change, people in his life still try to reach out to him.

what think ye:  Is there anything you do just because “it needs doing”, without giving up because it is not having the hoped-for outcome?
Closing Prayer: May we live this day more deeply aware of your presence – in our past, in our present, and in our future. Amen.
For our complete Advent-Christmas schedule, please click here


Advent Devotional Dec. 2

Welcome to Lord Of Life’s Advent Devotions for 2015.  Our theme centers around Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, which will also the be theme of our Wednesday evening services.  This devotional is in the form of a homily – a line-by-line discussion of A Christmas Carol – not the whole story, but the Spark Notes summary.  When you see the wordS “WHAT THINK YE?”: please interpret as “discussion starter for our family or group” or “meditation focus” if by yourself.

advent 2015 banner dickens
Dickens bob cratchit
Opening Prayer:  Lord, guide us as we ponder the ways in which this story and your story may influence our story – as our lives unfold today.  Amen.

December 2nd

A mean-spirited, miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge sits in his counting-house on a frigid Christmas Eve. His clerk, Bob Cratchit, shivers in the anteroom because Scrooge refuses to spend money on heating coals for a fire.

Ebenezer Scrooge is a bitter old creditor who does not believe in the spirit of Christmas or possess sympathy for the poor.

What Think Ye: how would you define “the spirit of Christmas”?

Closing Prayer: May we live this day more deeply aware of your presence – in our past, in our present, and in our future.  Amen.

For our complete Advent-Christmas schedule, please click here


Advent Devotional Dec. 1

Welcome to Lord Of Life’s Advent Devotions for 2015.  Our theme centers around Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, which will also the be theme of our Wednesday evening services.  This devotional is in the form of a homily – a line-by-line discussion of A Christmas Carol – not the whole story, but the Spark Notes summary.  When you see the wordS “WHAT THINK YE?”: please interpret as “discussion starter for our family or group” or “meditation focus” if by yourself.

advent 2015 banner dickens

Opening Prayer:  Lord, guide us as we ponder the ways in which this story and your story may influence our story – as our lives unfold today.  Amen.

December 1st      Please read the summary below(from Spark Notes):
A mean-spirited, miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge sits in his counting-house on a frigid Christmas Eve. His clerk, Bob Cratchit, shivers in the anteroom because Scrooge refuses to spend money on heating coals for a fire.

Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, pays his uncle a visit and invites him to his annual Christmas party.  Two portly gentlemen also drop by and ask Scrooge for a contribution to their charity. Scrooge reacts to the holiday visitors with bitterness and venom, spitting out an angry “Bah! Humbug!” in response to his nephew’s “Merry Christmas!”

dickens scroogeLater that evening, after returning to his dark, cold apartment, Scrooge receives a chilling visitation from the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley. Marley, looking haggard and pallid, relates his unfortunate story. As punishment for his greedy and self-serving life his spirit has been condemned to wander the Earth weighted down with heavy chains. Marley hopes to save Scrooge from sharing the same fate.  Marley informs Scrooge that three spirits will visit him during each of the next three nights.  After the wraith disappears, Scrooge collapses into a deep sleep.

He wakes moments before the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Past, a strange childlike phantom with a brightly glowing head. The spirit escorts Scrooge on a journey into the past to previous Christmases from the curmudgeon’s earlier years. Invisible to those he watches, Scrooge revisits his childhood school days, his apprenticeship with a jolly merchant named Fezziwig, and his engagement to Belle, a woman who leaves Scrooge because his lust for money eclipses his ability to love another. Scrooge, deeply moved, sheds tears of regret before the phantom returns him to his bed.

The Ghost of Christmas Present, a majestic giant clad in a green fur robe, takes Scrooge through London to unveil Christmas as it will happen that year. Scrooge watches the large, bustling Cratchit family prepare a miniature feast in its meager home. He discovers Bob Cratchit’s crippled son, Tiny Tim, a courageous boy whose kindness and humility warms Scrooge’s heart. The specter then zips Scrooge to his nephew’s to witness the Christmas party. Scrooge finds the jovial gathering delightful and pleads with the spirit to stay until the very end of the festivities. As the day passes, the spirit ages, becoming noticeably older.   Toward the end of the day, he shows Scrooge two starved children, Ignorance and Want, living under his coat.  He vanishes instantly as Scrooge notices a dark, hooded figure coming toward him.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come leads Scrooge through a sequence of mysterious scenes relating to an unnamed man’s recent death.  Scrooge sees businessmen discussing the dead man’s riches, some vagabonds trading his personal effects for cash, and a poor couple expressing relief at the death of their unforgiving creditor. Scrooge, anxious to learn the lesson of his latest visitor, begs to know the name of dickens tiny timthe dead man.  After pleading with the ghost, Scrooge finds himself in a churchyard, the spirit pointing to a grave.  Scrooge looks at the headstone and is shocked to read his own name. He desperately implores the spirit to alter his fate, promising to renounce his insensitive, avaricious ways and to honor Christmas with all his heart.

Whoosh! He suddenly finds himself safely tucked in his bed.  Overwhelmed with joy by the chance to redeem himself and grateful that he has been returned to Christmas Day, Scrooge rushes out onto the street hoping to share his newfound Christmas spirit. He sends a giant Christmas turkey to the Cratchit house and attends Fred’s party, to the stifled surprise of the other guests.

As the years go by, he holds true to his promise and honors Christmas with all his heart: he treats Tiny Tim as if he were his own child, provides lavish gifts for the poor, and treats his fellow human beings with kindness, generosity, and warmth.

what think ye:  Did anything surprise you, or is this story as familiar as the Christmas story?  What might we miss because we are so familiar with it?

Closing Prayer: May we live this day more deeply aware of your presence – in our past, in our present, and in our future.  Amen.
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF ADVENT/CHRISTMAS EVENTS AT LORD OF LIFE, PLEASE CLICK HERE


Advent Devotional Nov. 30

Welcome to Lord Of Life’s Advent Devotions for 2015.  Our theme centers around Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, which will also the be theme of our Wednesday evening services.  This devotional is in the form of a homily – a line-by-line discussion of A Christmas Carol – not the whole story, but the Spark Notes summary.  When you see the wordS “WHAT THINK YE?”: please interpret as “discussion starter for our family or group” or “meditation focus” if by yourself.
 advent 2015 banner dickens

Opening Prayer: Lord, guide us as we ponder the ways in which this story and your story may influence our story – as our lives unfold today. Amen.

November 30 An introduction to Charles Dickens:

Charles_Dickens_3Charles Dickens was a native of London, England. He wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843, when he was at the height of his career. He was a proud, successful writer whose novels brought tears to the eyes of devoted readers as far away as America. At 31, Dickens had worked his way from the humble, often brutal experiences of a poverty-stricken childhood to the drawing rooms of London’s literary set (his father was at one time in Debtors Jail). He was the head of a large and costly household, and he felt hounded by the necessity to earn money and, at the same time, to maintain a brilliant career.

One of his greatest wishes as a writer was to expose the suffering and hopelessness of the poor working class in England during the Industrial Revolution. Written in just a month’s time, A Christmas Carol contains Dickens’ philosophy about the interconnectedness of all persons and the necessity of good will in human conduct.

Key point – Despite the pressures and distractions of his family’s needs, Dickens also wanted to help make the world a better place.

what think ye: Is there somewhere in my life that I am working to make the world a better place?

Closing Prayer: May we live this day more deeply aware of your presence – in our past, in our present, and in our future. Amen.
For our complete Advent-Christmas schedule, please click here


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