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The Advent prayer for Friday, December 16, 2002, comes to us from: Hark the Herald Angels Sing: Daily Prayers for Advent by Stephenie Hovland

39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed,

Matthew 26:39aNRSV



Matthew 26:39a recounts Jesus’ anguished moments on the mount of olives. If we were to stop reading at verse 39a, we might assume Jesus resisted going to Calvary’s cross. Thankfully, in verse 39b, and again in verse 42, we gain a fuller understanding of this Holy moment:

39b "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want." 42 Again he went away for the second time and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done."

Jesus, amid the stress and anxiety of his pending hardship, offers us an example for how we can respond when we face hardships. Jesus chooses to lean into God’s purpose for his life, to lean into his calling to be a light in the darkness and hope for the hopeless. We too, amid the selfishness, materialism, and polarization that attempt to

co-opt this season, can lean into our purpose to be a blessing to others. We too can lean into our calling to share the love, joy, and compassion of God with others. We too can choose to be beacons of transformation and wholeness.

It may seem odd to read a scripture associated with Resurrection during Advent. Yet, in selecting this scripture, Stephenie has provided depth and context for our Advent celebrations. Indeed, it is important to remember that the precious child, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger, came to offer us salvation through his sacrifice on Calvary. The manger cannot be separated from the cross.

I invite you to make Jesus’ affirmation a part of your daily prayer: “not what I want, but what you want God, that your will be done!”

-Pastor Anthony

Advent Prayer – Day 20

Dear Jesus, you have supported us in so many ways. Coming to earth as a baby, living a human life, dying on the cross – your love for us is amazing! Help us show your love to others in how we live. As you continue to intercede to the Father on our behalf, may we also pray for and support the people in our lives. In the big things and the small things, let us always remember your earthly example of how to love others. Amen.

-Stephenie Hovland


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