Thursday
Nov212013

Advent Prayers for Families

God has shown us what it means to love by means of the Incarnation, Life, Death, Resurrection, Ascension and Exaltation of the Lord Jesus. This manifestation of love is meant to evoke a response in us. The first part of our response is to receive His Love in faith and with gratitude. The second part of our response is to seek to imitate it.  "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another" (1 John 4:11).

Love has always been a part of God’s revelation to mankind. But whereas the old covenant said “love your neighbor as yourself” (in which self-love was the standard by which we love others), Jesus says: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).  This new commandment does not cancel out the old covenant’s commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves; rather it defines the manner in which that love is to be expressed. We must love others as Jesus loves us.

In other words, Jesus has told us that His love for us is the standard (the pattern) by which we are to love each other.

As we seek to keep a holy Advent, I would like to suggest that you take some time to consider the love of God made manifest in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus. Let us also consider His holy life, offered for us in order that we might be redeemed from sin and made sons of God by adoption (and because we are sons, also therefore heirs of the kingdom of Heaven).  Let us take time to meditate upon those things that characterize Jesus’ love (things like selfless giving, humility, zeal for righteousness, longsuffering, unwavering resolve, submission to the Father’s will, etc.) and consider how we might strive (in the strength that God provides) to be more and more like Him in our love for each other.

Click here to view a form of prayers to be used at home as well as a devotional commentary on the Collects for Advent and Christmas Day by Peter Toon and Jason Patterson.

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