An Advent Podcast from Apostles By-the-Sea in Rosemary Beach
An Advent Podcast from Apostles By-the-Sea in Rosemary Beach
Christmas Eve 2019 - O Come All Ye Faithful - Apostles By-the-Sea
Beloved in Christ,in this Holy Night, let it be our care and delight to hear again the message of the Angels, and in heart and mind to go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, and the Babe lying in a manger.Let us read and mark in Holy Scripture the tale of the loving purposes of God from the first days of our disobedience unto the glorious Redemption brought to us by this holy Child; and let us make this place glad with our carols of praise. 1. O come, all ye faithful,joyful and triumphant,O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem;come and behold him,born the King of angels;O come, let us adore him,O come, let us adore him,O come, let us adore him,Christ the Lord!2. God from God,Light from Light eternal,lo! he abhors not the Virgin's womb;only begotten Son of the Father; (Refrain)3. See how the shepherds,summoned to his cradle,leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;we too will thither bend our joyful footsteps; (Refrain)4. Child, for us sinnerspoor and in the manger,we would embrace thee, with love and awe;who would not love thee, loving us so dearly? (Refrain)5. Sing, choirs of angels,sing in exultation;sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;glory to God, glory in the highest; (Refrain)6. Yea, Lord, we greet thee,born this happy morning,Jesus, to thee be glory given;Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing; (Refrain)
Advent Devotion for December 24, 2019 from Apostles By-the-Sea - Episode 24
Tuesday, December 24, 2019 Matthew 1:18-2518 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,”which means, “God is with us.” 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus. Reflection:The Gospel of Matthew records how the angel of the Lord to announced to Joseph that Mary “will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (1:21). Furthermore, the angel explained how Jesus' birth fulfilled what was promised to the prophet Isaiah (Is. 7:14) that “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God with us.” In this surprising and wonderful truth, we learn that the son will not be any ordinary baby boy, but will in fact be God himself. God kept his promises, and did so in the most extraordinary and abundant way. God himself has come! He is not a god at a distance, he is God with us. Collect for Christmas Eve:O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Advent Devotion for December 23, 2019 from Apostles By-the-Sea - Episode 23
Monday, December 23, 2019 Luke 1:46-5546 And Mary said,“My soul magnifies the Lord,47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” Reflection:Mary’s song is one that is sung from the heart, from the depths of her being. Mary lifts up the Lord God as she gives thanks for who God is, and praises him for what he has done. What God has done in the birth of Jesus is personal with Mary, but its implications reach back into history. In his mercy, God remembers his covenantal promises to his servant Israel. Jesus’ birth was the historical fulfillment of God’s promises, a birth that happened through a beautiful woman of character, Mary, who was uniquely blessed of God. In many ways, Mary is a model of faith in God, one who believed what the Lord said and rejoiced in God her Savior (Luke 1:47). Like Mary, we are called to live so that in word and deed, every part of our being would rejoice as we magnify the promise-keeping God who saves.
Advent Devotion for December 22, 2019 from Apostles By-the-Sea - Episode 22
Week 4: God Keeps His Promises Sunday, December 22, 2019 Readings:Isaiah 7:10-16Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19Romans 1:1-7Matthew 1:18-25 Reflection on this week’s readings:On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we celebrate God’s faithfulness in sending His Son, and we remember God’s faithfulness as we look forward to Christ’s second coming. Sunday’s readings focus on the coming of the Messiah who fulfills God’s covenant with David, brings salvation for all people, and ushers in the eternal reign of God on earth. God promises that he will make for David a great name, give his people eternal rest from enemies, and give him an everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 7:9). These promises are fulfilled in the coming of Jesus, who was “declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:2). The good news is that God has been faithful to his promise in sending Jesus Christ, and in the Gospel reading we see this promise fulfilled: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:23, from Isaiah 7:14). God keeps his promises! Collect for the Fourth Week of Advent:Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Advent Devotion for December 21, 2019 from Apostles By-the-Sea - Episode 21
Saturday, December 21, 2019 Luke 1:26-3826 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. Reflection:I love the way Mary is “convinced” that God is about to fulfill his promise to Israel of the Messiah: “Mary, you’re a virgin, yet you’re going to have a baby… and the father is going to be God... and you’ve found favor in his sight… and you’re hearing this message from an angel. Oh, and if that’s not enough, your cousin Elizabeth recently conceived a child, even in her old age.” “Mary, I just thought you should know this in case you had any doubt that God would keep his promise.”We know that it did happen, just as God had promised. The Gospels give us the account of how God kept his word of promise that he gave to Mary, as well as the fulfillment of those prophecies given thousands of years ago. God’s promises weren’t just for Mary, or the people of Israel, or Christians in the first century. God’s promises were, and are, for us today. They’re for you. Our response to God’s fulfilled promise should be like that of Mary, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Our greatest joys are found when we live according to the word of God. He can turn around broken lives, make peace where there is strife, and bring joy from sorrow. Mary experienced it firsthand and so can we.
Advent Devotion for December 20, 2019 from Apostles By-the-Sea - Episode 20
Friday, December 20, 2019 Isaiah 9:1-71 But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on them light has shined. 3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Reflection:Today we begin to “peek ahead” to some of the readings that characterize the fourth week of Advent and we rejoice in God’s fulfillment of his promise to deliver his people and save them from their sins. On this side of the Resurrection we can look back and see how Jesus fulfilled this promise at his birth, but it wasn’t so clear to the people of Isaiah’s time. In fact, centuries after Isaiah, Jesus' followers weren’t quite clear on the timing of his second advent. After Jesus’ death and resurrection many of his followers assumed and longed for an immediate fulfillment of God’s promise. We are not so different; we often want God to fulfill his promises now, in this life, or maybe even this hour. Yet sometimes he waits, just as Jesus is also waiting to return. Patience is still required on our part, but as we wait, we can rejoice in the reminder from Isaiah that there is already some fulfillment of God’s promises in Christ, because he is:-Wonderful Counselor, who leads the way when we don't know where to go. (John 10:3-4)-Almighty God, in whom we can trust when we feel powerless, because all things are possible with Him. (Mark 10:27)-Everlasting Father, in whose everlasting arms we can rest when we feel weary. (Deuteronomy 33:27)-Prince of Peace: Who gives us "peace at all times in every way" (2 Thessalonians 3:16).