The First 15

Monday December 14, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield

Opening Prayer

Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer. 
We come to you with great anticipation and preparation. Open our minds, open our hearts, open ourselves to what you want us to hear and experience today as we read your word. 

Scripture Reading

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:8-12


This week we focus on “joy” as we prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus as our Messiah, our Deliverer.

The shepherds living and working in the fields near Bethlehem were not at all expecting an angel to appear to them with this good news of great joy for ALL people. They were in shock, but the angel didn’t let them miss the moment.

Some of us may have difficulty opening ourselves to the idea of receiving and carrying joy when we feel surrounded by so much suffering. We may find it easier to engage the pain around us than embrace the joy around us. 

Advent invites us to pause, listen, notice, receive, and carry the good news of great joy Jesus brings for ALL people.

  • What do you think distracts you from experiencing joy?
  • How could you make a conscious effort to more fully receive and carry joy today?

Closing Prayer

When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer. 


Make advent real in our hearts. 
Never have we needed Your joy and peace more than now. 
Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Immanuel, the Word made flesh. 
Lord, we need Your peace and joy. We know that peace on earth can only come when hearts find peace with You. You are still our Joy. You are still our Peace.  And we still celebrate You as Lord—this Christmas and always.

The First 15

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