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Grace Lutheran Church
 
 
Grace Notes
Sunday, November 27, 2022                                             Advent 1
Advent begins next Sunday, November 27… Advent devotionals for individual and family use available this Sunday. If you are unable to pick them up. Please let pastors know and we will arrange to get them to you.  Also, the Advent newsletter has gone out. If you did not receive it, please, let us know so we can get you one.
 
Wolf Pack Thanks to all who donated money, products and time in November. December donations are needed by December 4. We still need:  80 breakfast items (single serve cereal, oatmeal, granola or cereal bar or the kid favorite poptarts) 80 lunch items (single serve soup, single serve pasta, single serve ramen, single serve mac and cheese, pouches of tuna or chicken) 40 single serve of fruit or applesauce, 40 sweet snack, 40 single serve juice,  
Bible Study meets Mondays at 1:00 in the library downstairs. All are welcome.
Alleluia. Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. Alleluia. (Ps. 85:7)
Prayer of the Day                  
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection save us from the threatening dangers of our sins, and enlighten our walk in the way of your salvation, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
 
Readings and Psalm
 
First Sunday of Advent. November 27
                        Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14;    Matthew 24:36-44
 
            M         Psalm 124; Genesis 8:1-19; Romans 6:1-11
            Tu        Psalm 124; Genesis 9:1-17; Hebrews 11:32-40
            W        Psalm 124; Isaiah 54:1-10; Matthew 24:23-35
            Th        Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 4:2-6; Acts 1:12-17, 21-26
            F          Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 30:19-26; Acts 13:16-25
            Sa        Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Isaiah 40:1-11; John 1:19-28
 
Second Sunday of Advent
                        Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12
 
Time to Wake Up
Advent is a season of waking up. Even as the days grow darker, we are awoken to the light of truth about our lives, the world, and, ultimately, God. But no one really likes being woken from sleep, real or metaphorical. No one likes being pulled from a cozy blanket to a crowded commute, from dreams to reality, from what’s comfortable and “always has been” to what’s actually happening right now. It’s why when we have pivotal, perhaps painful moments in our lives in which we become aware of something previously hidden, or about which we shed the veil of denial, we refer to them as “wake-up calls.”
Yet it is never God’s intent to hurt us by rousing us from sleep. It is not to punish us for our past mistakes, to expose our inner failings to the world, or to add to the already deep well of shame that so many of us carry. It is for our good that God comes to reveal that which was hidden, breaking into our world as human flesh and blood. And it is for our good that, through our baptism, we are able to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14). The divine image is revealed in you, and in every friend and stranger. God knows, loves, and takes delight in each of us.
That is why nations will beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks, and their guns into gravel to build a highway for our God. We won’t need to learn war anymore, as the prophet says (Isaiah 2:4), because you can’t raise arms against your own kin, another person in whom the living Christ dwells.
This season is a time for us to awaken to this new reality: at any moment, and at every moment, Christ lives among and within us, helping us rub the sleep out of our eyes, and revealing a different way. Welcome to Advent.
 
Visual Image/Artwork
Artists have made poignant cultural commentary using the image of beating swords into plowshares, from Isaiah 2. Some have updated the imagery to more modern machinery of violence. What tools of destruction today could be turned into a means of growth and healing? Perhaps there is a local congregation, municipality, or community organization near you that has held a gun-buyback program, or maybe there are local works of art about forging peace. Examples include the four-ton Washington, D.C., sculpture “Guns to Plowshares,” created from guns taken off the streets in 1994, as well as organizations that repurpose firearms into gardening tools.
The Psalm for the Day
Psalm 122 is one of the Songs of Zion, that is, one of the chants sung by Israelites as they traveled in pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate their primary religious festivals, or, in their absence from Jerusalem, sung to praise God for the symbolic power of the city as the center of divine presence on earth. The point of the psalm each Sunday is to give the entire assembly words to sing as a response to the first reading. Responding to the first reading from Isaiah 2, Psalm 122 expresses our delight as we enter the city of God. On this Sunday, “Jerusalem” means the new church year, the worshiping assembly, the word and sacrament we receive, even the promise in Advent of the future peace that comes from God.
A Hymn for the Day
A hymn appropriate for the beginning of Advent and the church year is “Each winter as the year grows older” (ELW 252). Written by a married couple, the text by William Gay and the tune by Annabeth Gay, the hymn realistically describes both personal and social distress, and asks for the coming of the Prince of peace and for his light in our darknesses.
Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
Against all our images of stern authority and capricious power, we hear the Lord’s voice, the voice of the shepherd who tends the scattered sheep of the flock. In Jesus, this image of shepherd-king is turned upside down in that mysterious wisdom of God. The shepherd becomes the very lamb who is led to the slaughter, who is led to the cross, so that our sickness and our injury, our final enemy is at last put to death in his body on the cross. This Jesus whom this Sunday praises as king, is, in fact, like no other king that has ever reigned. For today, the gospel, and the holy meal proclaim him king where we least expect it: in the depth of our yearning for life, our suffering, and our need. And in this he is no ordinary king. Here in our struggle and desire to be witnesses to his life and his love for us, he reigns. And here in the world, hidden in the struggle for justice and peace, here he reigns.              —Samuel Torvend
[Samuel Torvend, in Homilies for the Christian People, 177-178.]
 
Upcoming Commemorations
Andrew, Apostle                                                                   Wednesday, November 30, 2022
The first of the disciples to be called by Jesus, Andrew quickly began to bring others to the Savior, including Simon Peter. The Bible also shows him leading some Greeks to meet Jesus, and he brought forward the boy with five loaves and two fish, with which Jesus fed thousands.
 
Francis Xavier, missionary to Asia, died 1552                    Saturday, December 3, 2022
A native of the Basque region of Spain, Xavier became a missionary to India, Southeast Asia, Japan, and the Philippines. He also helped to found the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
From sundaysandseasons.com.
TAKING FAITH HOME 11/20
CARING CONVERSATION: Discuss in your household or small group:
• Share about a time you overslept. What happened?
• Jesus asks his followers to “keep watch” as he could return at any time (Matthew 24:42). What does it mean to “keep watch” for Jesus?
DEVOTIONS:
Set up an Advent wreath to use in your home. An Advent wreath contains 5 candles: 4 in a circle and 1 in the center. The circle represents the eternity of God, and the 4 candles are usually blue or purple. The center candle is usually white. It represents Christ and is lit on Christmas Eve and
Christmas Day. In the first week of Advent light the first candle and say these words:
Say: This is the first week of Advent. Advent means “coming”. We are waiting and preparing for the coming of Christ. Let us light the first Advent candle, the candle of waiting. (The candle is lit).
Read: Read one of the following passages: Psalm 27:14; Psalm 33:20; Isaiah 51:5; Isaiah 64:4; Lamentations 3:25-26; Micah 7:7.
Pray: Pray the prayer of the week or make up your own.
SERVICE:
Bake Christmas cookies together to give away to friends and neighbors.
RITUALS AND TRADITIONS:
Make a paper chain with a link for each day of December up to Christmas Day (suggestions below). Remove a link each day and do what it says:
• Share: “What gives you peace?”
• Share: “What gives you joy?”
• Share: “What gives you hope?”
• Compliment the people you see.
• Read Jeremiah 33:14-16.
• Share hugs with one another.
• Share good Christmas memories.
• Read Isaiah 11:1-3.
• Play a game together.
• Sing a Christmas carol.
• Share what you like about Christmas.
• Read Micah 5:2-4.
• Tell the nativity story.
• Make a special Christmas card for someone.
• Read Isaiah 7:14.
• Sing another Christmas carol.
• Do an act of service for another.
• Share a Christmas food.
• Read Isaiah 9:6-7.
• Go for a walk together.
• Draw a Christmas picture together.
• Read Luke 1:26-38.
• Read Matthew 1:18
Scripture Verses for the Week:
Always be ready! You don’t know when the Son of Man will come.” Matthew 24:44 (CEV) A Prayer for the Week: Lord God, keep us awake in our faith, alert and ready to do what is right. Amen.
Advent Mealtime Prayer: Bless our table, gracious God, and all who sit at it. As we wait for Jesus’ return, give us the gift of sharing with others. Amen.
A Bessing to Give: May the Lord Jesus be as near to you as your clothes. May he help you live in good ways and keep you awake in faith. Amen.
© 2010 Vibrant Faith Ministries. All rights reserved. Written by Pr. Greg Priebbenow and edited by Vibrant Faith Ministries
 
Wolf Packs
We are once again teaming up with Faith Lutheran, Venus to help feed hungry kids in the North Clarion School District. In this partnership we will be responsible for providing 40 Wolf Packs once a month. Each pack is to contain:
 
 2 breakfast items (single serve cereal, oatmeal, granola or cereal bar or the kid favorite poptarts)
2 lunch items (single serve soup, single serve pasta, single serve ramen, single serve mac and cheese, pouches of tuna or chicken)
1 single serve of fruit or applesauce
1 sweet snack
1 water
1 juice
Items can be dropped in the narthex of the church and need to there by December 4.
 
If you would like to help but can’t shop money gifts can be given to pastors and we will shop for what is needed. Let Pastor Deborah know if you would like to help pack Wolf packs.
 
You all have been tremendous with your support of this program in the past and it is greatly appreciated by the North Clarion School District and Faith Lutheran.
 
Future Dates are 1/8; 2/5; 3/5; 4/9; 5/7.
 
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