God gives us different personal messages. Thus, in this season of Advent, I prepared a guide to help me and my friends in the hospital reflect this church season.
“Celebrating Christmas in the Hospital” (Adapted from Hail the Heaven Born by GKBaker)
Advent is the season of preparation, anticipation and expectation of the coming Messiah, how do we, as people in the hospital, make ready?
Scripture: Matthew 24:36-44
Key Verse: “Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (v.42)
Focus of the Lesson:
Even as Christians, sometimes we get caught in the business of this world. Advent reminds us of our tasks in waiting for the coming of Jesus. But we never can tell when Jesus is coming, yet we should always be ready when that time comes.
Goals in study:
1. To examine the imagery of Christ return
2. To consider what it means to “wait”
3. To work with others in keeping awake and in watchful waiting
Advent marks the season of waiting. It is the hopeful anticipation of the coming of the Messiah. The first Advent happened almost 2000 years ago. We now participate in the Second Advent. The scripture lesson today tells on the manner of the return of Christ. But it also points to us the manner in which we anticipate this return.
The key word in the scripture lesson is “awake.” Waiting for the second Advent is not a passive activity. Matthew reminds to be “awake” – watchful waiting, so that we are ready when the “thief comes in the night.” Watchful waiting should is a way of life that demands for us to be awake so that we will not slumber into inattention, apathy and disobedience to God. To keep ourselves awake, we can watch over one another – pray for the others, show love and service to God through our friends, neighbors and patients, engage in holy habits like worship, prayer and reading the Bible together – so we can keep ourselves from falling into spiritual slumber.
Interpreting the Scripture:
1. The Coming of the Messiah
2. The thief in the night
3. Matthew 24 and Advent
Sharing the Scriptures:
1. Share practices or habits that you think can keep you watchful. Which of these do you participate regularly?
2. What are concrete things you can do this Advent season to be more vigilant and watchful?