The First 15

Monday December 7, 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

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Matthew 1:22-23


In this second week of Advent, we focus on “love” as Jesus defined it: always seeking the wholeness and well-being of others regardless of their response. 

How do you see this kind of love expressed in today’s scripture readings? 

  • Can you see it in the ancient and prophetic message God shared through Isaiah? 

  • Can you see it In the humble submission of the virgin, Mary, the mother of Jesus? 

  • Can you see it In God’s response to our great need, the almighty, eternal, creator of the universe coming to be “with” us as Jesus, Immanuel, living among us, teaching us, and suffering on our behalf in order to give us life?

In this season of Advent, how can you better focus on being “with” and seeking the wholeness and well-being of others without any expectation of reciprocation?

Where do you think this kind of selfless love in you originates?

Closing Prayer

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

Lord, 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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