Advent Thought for the Day 2017

Each day throughout Advent there will be a ‘Thought For The Day’ from the ministry team here at Granton.

The lead up to Christmas can be so busy and we are flooded with noise and pleas to buy and do more than we need. It’s sometimes difficult to find time to fit in our faith during this time.

For that reason, we will be publishing an ‘Advent thought for the day’ right through from Sunday 3rd December until Christmas Day. It will give us all that reminder to be still and find time for God during Advent

If you are on our emailing list then it will come to your inbox daily. You’ll also find it on our Facebook Page and on the website.

And if you’d like a weekly printed copy, just have a word with any of the Welcome Team or Ministry Team over the next few weeks.

Day 23 Dec 25 Luke 2:1-7

Day 23 Dec 25 Luke 2:1-7 There is a lovely song written by a Christian group called Casting Crowns which is called “while you were sleeping”. It asks questions of those in Bethlehem who missed Jesus birth, of those who failed to notice the signs, of those lying in the dark who missed the everlasting light, when God became human and stepped into the world.

Born in a place foretold but forgotten and ignored by those who should have known better.

Shepherds, wise men and angels, not the religious, the first to greet Jesus. Outsiders open to what God was doing in the world and for the world.

Today is Christmas the waiting is over, the holiday truly begun.

More than two thousand years after Jesus birth the significance of the day will largely go unnoticed, unacknowledged replaced by gift giving and excess. The greatest gift to the world then and now is here in the places perhaps we would least expect but should be. Are we awake to God’s radical message of light and love?

With every blessing

Happy Christmas
Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Emma

Day 22 Dec 24 Luke 1:46-56 A Magnificent God

This passage is called the ‘Magnificat’, because it is Mary’s song of praise. You can see from this that she has now accepted her role in God’s plan. More than that she realises how special her role is going to be and how generous God is in doing this.

When tomorrow comes be open to what God might do in your life and through your life in the lives of others.

More than that, be glad that God is such a generous God to give us parts to play in his great story.

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Day 21 Dec 23 John 1:1-18 In the beginning…

The opening of John is one of the most incredible passages in the whole Bible. It’s cosmic scope has a grandeur to rival Genesis 1, it is as poetic as the Psalms and it contains ideas as profound and revolutionary as any in Paul’s letters.

The opening line is a masterpiece in itself. It echo’s Genesis 1 v 1, taking us right back to the beginning of the world. It introduces Jesus as the Divine Word, God’s instrument of creation speaking the world into existence. And it identifies God and the Word as one and the same, making the radical claim that Jesus is actually God. And that’s just the first verse!

You should give it a read, trust me it’s worth it.

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from David

Day 20 Dec 22 Mathew 1:1-17 An app for everything

As a society we want everything now if not yesterday – there is an app for everything.

And if we are honest we want a God who works this way too, a God who does what we want when we want.

We don’t like to wait and yet God will not be rushed, his timing is perfect, he is never late.

There were 42 generations of families from Abraham to Jesus, living through turbulence and peace, through drought and plenty through captivity and freedom. God was with each and held out both

Hope and promise that was realised in Jesus the Messiah long awaited. Now God holds our hope and promise of his return.

Are we content to wait on God, knowing his timing is perfect and he is faithful?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Emma

Day 19 Dec 21 Luke 1:67-80 Put the Christ into Christmas

When Zechariah prophesied we get a glimpse not of what he thought about all this but of what God thought about it. After all this was God speaking through Zechariah. You can see then that God knows exactly what Jesus is going to do when he is here and that he has been planning this for a long time.

Christmas is intentional. It is here because God determined it would be here.

As Christians it is important for us to keep God in Christmas and to remind others that without him we would not have it!

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Day 18 Dec 20 Luke 1:39-45 Joy to the World

Babies are wonderful aren’t they. Their cute faces, their tiny little hands and all the coos and gurgles; they can melt even the stoniest of hearts. Babies bring us joy. That was how the pregnant Mary and Elizabeth felt as they met. They knew there would be hard times ahead but in that moment, they felt nothing but joy at the new life within them. Christmas is a time of joy, and in many ways, it is like the joy of a new birth.

When a baby is born we marvel the miracle of life, we are filled with excitement at the life they are going live, and we are moved by the amazing unconditional love that a mother has for her child.

At Christmas we marvel at the miracle of God entering the world, we are filled with excitement at the new life we can live in Christ Jesus and we are moved by the unconditional love that God has for his people.

It truly is the season to be jolly!

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from David

Day 17 Dec 19 Luke 1:34-38 A different attitude

Mary exhibits a very different attitude to the angel’s message of a child than Zechariah did when told his wife would become pregnant. Her attitude is one which is accepting of a new situation that would not leave her untouched by prejudice, gossip and suspicion but which would further the kingdom of God beyond what could be imagined.

The angel says there is nothing that God cannot do and yet Mary is first asked and agrees. She could have said no but even knowing that things would change for her beyond what she could imagine she states that she is the Lord’s Servant.

Her faith and trust in God trumps her fear.

What is keeping you back from agreeing to do the things of God?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Emma

Day 16 Dec 18 Luke 1:26-33 What? Me? How?

Let’s be honest. We all want to see God do great things. We would love to see the Spirit move amongst our population and reconnect people with God. Do we believe that the Spirit could do that through us though? Mary was like that. Sure she wanted to see the Messiah but her? No way! God has a habit of doing the unexpected in even more unexpected ways.

How open are you to God in your life or have you put God in a box?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Day 15 Dec 17 Luke 1: 59-68 Shhhhhhh!

It’s often quipped that God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we should spend twice as much time listening as we do speaking. But are often more interested in speaking than listening, and with social media it has become easier than ever to broadcast our views to the world. When Zechariah first heard he was going to have a son he was not prepared to believe the angel. He was too old and the promise was too outlandish. But when the angel took away his speech he was forced to only listen for 9 months. It gave Zechariah a new perspective. When it came time to name the baby Zechariah followed the Angel’s instructions and called him John. Listening taught Zechariah how to trust in God. Silence has been an important practice for Christians for centuries, as it allows people to be still and listen to what God is saying.

Today take a moment to be silent, even just for a minute, and take some time to just listen.

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from David

Day 14 Dec 16 Luke 1: 57-58 new traditions

Elizabeth was to be doubly blessed with a baby who was male.
Tradition was that the child would be named after his father but both Elizabeth and Zechariah
Break with tradition instead to name the baby John as the angel had instructed Zechariah.
Tradition has its place, but it we let it, it may replace Gods will and purpose for our lives, closing ourselves and others to all that God can do and is revealing to the world.

Which traditions would you be willing to give up to know and follow Gods will a little closer?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Emma

Day 13 Dec 15 Luke 1: 23-25 Redemption in a different way

Life was not easy for Elizabeth. She lived in a culture where having children was seen as God blessing you and not having children meant you were under God’s judgement. She would have had to live with the community gossiping about her and wondering what she had done to be judged by God. This birth then was more than just the advent of a son. It also allowed Elizabeth to walk amongst her peers without judgement. Even though she considered herself too old God did not and this begs the question of how old do you need to be before you are worthless before God?

You already know the answer to that question!

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Day 12 Dec 14 Luke 1: 21-22 A sign of things to come

To my knowledge this passage is the first example we have in the Bible of someone speaking sign language (let me know if you find any others). Disabled people have always been a part of the Church, but unfortunately churches haven’t always been the most welcoming places. Worship spaces often aren’t designed to be accessible for people with disabilities. Our services can be hard to follow for people with hearing/visual impairment or distressing for people who are sensitive to loud noises and crowds. And many people with disabilities have been overlooked in church and had their contributions undervalued. But all through the Bible God works through disabled people: Moses had a speech impairment, Isaac was blind, Jacob walked with a limp, and God worked through all of them. God clearly values people with disabilities.

How then can we make our church a place where disabled people feel welcomed, connected and valued?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from David

Day 11 Dec 13 Luke 1: 18-20 The Angry Angel

We can almost imagine an angry angel upset that his presence and message alone are not enough to convince Zechariah of what is promised and so in a fit of temper he takes away his ability to speak.

But perhaps we could all be guilty of unbelief conditioned by our narrowness of mind and heart, our present circumstances or stage of life, of reducing God’s power down to what we are comfortable with and know are the ways of this world.

Zechariah was to learn that God keeps his promises, that his unbelief was misplaced and that the seeming impossibility of his situation, was no obstacle to God’s will, revelation and blessing.

How open are we to the promises and possibilities of God?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Emma

Day 10 Dec 12 Luke 1: 11-17 A chip of the old block

Ask any parent and they will talk about their hopes for their children. Every parent wants their children to be the best they can be, to find happiness and contentment in life.

Imagine if God told you the kinds of things Zechariah was being told here? How would you feel? How do you think Zechariah raised John knowing this is what he would be like?

Part of our responsibility as Christians is to raise the next generation. We all have a responsibility to see the faith passed on.

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Day 9 Dec 11 Luke 1: 5-10 Rules vs Trust

We love the idea that if you follow the rules then things will work out for you. It’s why in Britain we are so obsessed with queueing, and why skipping in line is tantamount to treason. We think life is supposed to reward you for following the rules But life doesn’t work like that. Zachariah and Elizabeth followed all the rules that were expected of them: they were good people, faithful Jews, upstanding members of their society; and yet despite all that they were unable to have children, something very shameful in ancient society. In the end following the rules wasn’t enough. But something else was: trusting in God.

In the end it was their faith in God that brought them a son.

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from David

Day 8 Dec 10 Malachi 4 Choices

In this the last book and chapter of the Old Testament we find prophecy and promise of a day to come where good overcomes evil, where judgement, destruction and salvation are the results of how people live. It’s a sobering thought, filled with hope. God always holds out hope to us and he always allows us to choose. Choose to remember God and his commands or not. Choose to love God and neighbour or not. It’s all about choice.

What will yours be?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Emma

Day 7 Dec 09 Isaiah 61: 1-7 When I grow up I want to be like…

In the ancient world it was not uncommon for rulers to present their sons to the priests and the priests would then pronounce all the great things the sons would do. Conquerors, vanquishers, etc, etc. Here you have a different kind of blessing because the Messiah was going to bind the broken hearted, to bring good news to the poor, etc, etc.

If we are called to be like Jesus who are we actually more like, the rulers of this world or the messiah?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Day 6 Dec 08 Jeremiah 31: 15 – 17 People of Hope

Living in hope was not easy for the Israelites. They spent most of their history either in oppression or exile, and while God had promised that would return to their land, generations would go by with no change. The temptation would have become complacent, to stop clamouring for their homeland and assimilate and live comfortable lives. But they didn’t, they continued to hope that God would return them to their country. Complacency is easy, hope is hard. What about the church today.

Do we as Christians live in hope or complacency?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from David

Day 5 Dec 07 2 Samuel 7: 1-17 living in a box

King David was in control of land, people, resources and it seems wanted to take that a little further by controlling God, by building God a dwelling place. This meant David was in control, he was setting the agenda setting the restrictions as to the areas of life where God could be. Sometimes it can be tempting to do likewise to put out our faith in a box, to confine God just to one area of life. To do so is to say we are in control. Yet as David heard God is the one who is in control, the one who travels with us and the One who brought blessing in his life, the One who holds out hope and promise. To believe otherwise is to fool ourselves.

How willing are we to let go of the boxes, to let go of control and let God be God?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Emma

Day 4 Dec 06 Micah 5: 2-5 Even the smallest matter

Bethlehem was not a great town within Israel; in fact it was quite small. You might even use words like ‘quaint’ and ‘provincial’, especially when you compare it to Jerusalem. How like our God is it though to choose a relatively insignificant place to achieve great things? It’s the same with people. You might not think of yourself as one of the great and good in this world yet God can do great and good things if you are willing to help.

What do you think?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Day 3 Dec 05 Isaiah 7:10-16 God in the mess

Has anyone ever said to you “you really needed to be there”? There are some things in life you can’t experience second-hand, you have to be. When God promised “Immanuel” was coming, he was promising to come in the flesh and live among us. God’s salvation plan did not involve staying distant and separate, he chose to enter all the messiness of life. We can try to good in the world at a distance, by giving money, by organising resources, but sometimes making a difference means entering into the mess and being with people.

Where do you get involved, and where can you start?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from David

Day 2 Dec 04 Isaiah 42 : 1- 9 Zooming Out

Sometimes it is good to be reminded that there is a bigger picture to life than each of our circumstances. Like a camera zooming out, expanding the frame of reference Isaiah reminds Israel of who God is, how God works, and what God is doing by sending a servant, showing the purpose of Israel’s circumstances within eternity.

God says that his servant will bring justice not domination, to all places and who will “will open the eyes of the blind and set free those who sit in dark prisons”. Sharing Jesus with others in word and deeds sets us and our circumstances, different though they each are within Gods purposes. We each have the ability to be eye openers and liberators for those who have not heard of Jesus.

The only question remaining is are we willing?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Emma

Day 1 Dec 03 Genesis 3: 14 – 21 Hope from the start

How long is your planning? These days it’s recommended you plan for your retirement as soon as you start out in life. At best that might be 30 years, at worst 40 or 50 years. Imagine though planning across thousands of years? These verses in Genesis hold within them a promise that the serpent would not win. So right from the start God was planning for the world’s redemption.

What an awesome God we have!

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from Norman

Advent Thought for the Day

Each day throughout Advent there will be a ‘Thought For The Day’ from the ministry team here at Granton.

The lead up to Christmas can be so busy and we are flooded with noise and pleas to buy and do more than we need. It’s sometimes difficult to find time to fit in our faith during this time.

For that reason, we will be publishing a ‘Advent thought for the day’ right through from Sunday 3rd December until Christmas Day. It will give us all that reminder to be still and find time for God during Advent

If you are on our emailing list then it will come to your inbox daily. You’ll also find it on our Facebook Page and on the website.

And if you’d like a weekly printed copy, just have a word with any of the Welcome Team or Ministry Team over the next few weeks.

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If you get a weekly email from the church you will get the Advent Thought automatically. If you don’t currently get it you can sign up quickly below or drop an email to chas@granton.org.uk.

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Day 6 Dec 08 Jeremiah 31: 15 – 17 People of Hope

Living in hope was not easy for the Israelites. They spent most of their history either in oppression or exile, and while God had promised that would return to their land, generations would go by with no change. The temptation would have become complacent, to stop clamouring for their homeland and assimilate and live comfortable lives. But they didn’t, they continued to hope that God would return them to their country. Complacency is easy, hope is hard. What about the church today.

Do we as Christians live in hope or complacency?

Today’s Advent Thought for the Day is from David