A Simple Advent Reading Series
From the Gospel According to Matthew*
Introduction: This simple Advent reading series provides a daily reading of one or two verses from the Gospel of Matthew for each of the twenty eight days commonly known as the Advent season. A simple prayer accompanies the reading for the day. Readers are encouraged to investigate the passage of scripture where the daily verses are found.
Advent Theme for Week One – The King is Coming
Sunday, November 30, 2014 – The First Sunday in Advent
Matthew 21:5 “Say to the Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
Prayer: Jesus, we remember that you were declared a King. Reign in our hearts and homes today.
Thought for the day: One day one King will rule over all humanity.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Prayer: Our Father, with fear and longing we pray that your kingdom come on earth. May you be pleased to dwell among us today.
Thought for the day: Life on earth can be heavenly when we do the will of God.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Matthew 12:25 Jesus knew their thought and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”
Prayer: Jesus, may we unite our hearts with you in devotion to all that is good and pure and holy.
Thought for the day: When we join forces with God for good, divine power accompanies our effort.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Matthew 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Prayer: God, our Father in heaven, we repent of our waywardness and our failures to value all that you hold dear. Restore to us a right mind and spirit.
Thought for the day: Repentance is a godly work that holds the promise of restoration.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Prayer: God, our heavenly Father, let us know and do your will that we might truly call Jesus our Lord.
Thought for the day: We can choose to be numbered with those who say or those who do.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Matthew 18:4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Prayer: Jesus, we pray that your servant heart will be our heart. Let us exalt you as we serve one another in love.
Thought for the day: The wonder of an innocent child is a blessing to behold.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Matthew 13:41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.
Prayer: O Lord Jesus, the end of all time approaches. Only by your grace will we be ready.
Thought for the day: It may not be today, but there will be a day of reckoning.
Advent Theme for Week Two – Preparing for the Coming King
Sunday, December 7, 2014 – The Second Sunday in Advent
Matthew 24:43-44 He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Sprit calls him ‘Lord”? For he says, “The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at the right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Son of God, great men and women alike through the ages have confessed you as their Master and Savior. We join our voices with theirs.
Thought for the day: David, the shepherd who became a king, said, “The Lord is my shepherd.”
Monday, December 8, 2014
Matthew 25:10 But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
Prayer: Almighty God, we confess we are often ill prepared for the coming of Jesus. Give us the wisdom to be among those who watch and pray.
Thought for the day: In the hour of trial our preparedness will be evident.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Matthew 22:13-14 Then the king told he attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are invited, but few are chosen.
Prayer: Jesus, show us your mercy lest we perish by our own wrongdoing. Let us be ambassadors of your mercy to all who come our way.
Thought for the day: Spending time in prayer now prepares us for everlasting life with the Father.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Matthew 13:41-42 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Prayer: Almighty God, how can we escape certain doom except by your grace? Cover us with the blood of Christ.
Thought for the day: Whether we see it in our lifetime or if not, there will be a day of justice.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Matthew 13:49-50 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Prayer: Oh God, an old preacher said if we took one step toward the Savior, He would take a step toward us. We are reaching out to you.
Thought for the day: We suffer needlessly, when we fail to return genuine love.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Matthew 7:25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
Prayer: Oh God, you gave your Son to secure our salvation. We rest in the security of your everlasting love.
Thought for the day: Secure building requires a secure foundation.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Matthew 24:31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
Prayer: Yes, Lord, yes. Come. Gather us to your bosom. We who have found refuge in You would dwell with You in the Father’s heavenly mansions.
Thought for the day: It may be morning or night or noon, but Jesus is coming soon.
Advent Theme for Week Three – The Messianic Prophesies are Fulfilled in Jesus
Sunday, December 14, 2014 – The Third Sunday In Advent
Matthew 3:3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
Prayer: God our Father, we thank you for the prophetic voices that have called us to prepare for your coming.
Thought for the day: All God’s traffic signals are working.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Matthew 11:4-5 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”
Prayer: O Jesus, your ministry was a miraculous ministry. Work your miracles in our lives so that we might live more perfectly with you.
Thought for the day: The miracle of vision and the vision of miracles are both gifts of God.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Matthew 8:16-17 When evening came, many were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as you have done in days past may you today grant your blessing among us today. Heal our sick and suffering, give clarity of mind to the confused, and cast out the devilish spirits from our young and old.
Thought for the day: Jesus is the great physician.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Matthew 12:20-21 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.
Prayer: Oh God, the Spirit of Christ was a humble Spirit, a servant Spirit. May the life of Your Son teach us how to live.
Thought for the day: To say the name, Jesus, is to speak a prayer.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Matthew 21:46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
Prayer: Jesus, the world fought against you until the bitter end. We pray that all your workers – teachers, ministers, preachers, missionaries – will all be blessed by your courage and commitment to God’s will.
Thought for the day: Those who serve our Lord as missionaries deserve our respect and prayers.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Matthew 21:42 Jesus said to them, “have you never read in the scriptures: “’the stone the builder rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes.’?
Prayer: Almighty God, today it is happening all over again. Men and women reject your Son. May we never give cause for another to doubt that your son is the loving Savior of the world.
Thought for the day: Many earthly choices we make are trivial, but the one heavenly choice we should make is without comparison.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Prayer: Jesus, Son of God, we are troubled by the words of the Psalmist you repeated on the cross. It was prophesied and it came to pass that you took upon yourself the burden of our sin. How can we say thanks?
Thought for the day: No weight conditioning can prepare us to carry the burden of sin.
Advent Week Four – A Savior for All People is Born
Sunday, December 21, 2014 – The Fourth Sunday in Advent
Matthew 1:22-23 All this took lace to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means “God with us.”
Prayer: Oh God, should you, could you, would you send us a sign? You have sent us a sign. You have sent us your Son.
Thought for the day: Jesus can empathize, since he has been through “it.”
Monday, December 22, 2014
Matthew 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Oh God, for as long as we live the birth of a child to a virgin shall remain a mystery to us, and for as long as we live we shall praise you for this miracle.
Thought for the day: Mary loved the life she carried in her womb as a gift from God.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Matthew 2:1-2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod; Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star I the east and have come to worship him.”
Prayer: Oh God, they knew. The wise men knew Jesus was king, and they came to worship. Let us follow their example.
Thought for the day: The wise men found the king of the Jews, because the first looked.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Matthew 2:4-5 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea” they replied, “for this is what the prophet had written.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we sing of the little town of Bethlehem, and we remember your humble birth. Born to a virgin, born in a manger, born to fulfill the prophesies of old. You were born to save humankind. Praise God on high. You were born.
Thought for the day: Jesus wasn’t too good to be born in Bethlehem, wasn’t too good to bless the children, wasn’t too good to touch the lepers, wasn’t too good to eat with sinners, wasn’t too good to wash the disciples’ feet, wasn’t too good to die on a cross. ‘Cause Jesus was just too, too good.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Matthew 2: 10-11 When they saw the star they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and the bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and incense and of myrrh.
Prayer: O Jesus, Son of God, it’s all so thrilling. It’s all so amazing. Magi dressed in their glory bow before you as a newborn child, and they give gifts to the child. Jesus you are Lord at your birth. Glory to God.
Thought for the day: God’s gift to us today is Jesus, his only begotten son. Rejoice.
Friday, December 26, 2014
Matthew 3:16-17 As soon as Jesus was baptized he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Prayer: God, our Heavenly Father, we remember that your son always did your will. May we learn from his life the way to live.
Thought for the day: In all things Jesus obeyed the Father.
Saturday, December 27 2014
Matthew 28:18-19 Then Jesus came to them and said “All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Jesus, Lord and Savior, we confess that you arose from the grave. As your people we dedicate ourselves to the fulfillment of your commission to make disciples of all nations.
Thought for the day: Someone you know needs to know Jesus.
*The author gratefully acknowledge that all four Advent Sunday reading in Blum’s Farmer’s and Planters Almanac 2014 come from the Gospel of Matthew: Matthew 21:1-11; Matthew 24;37-44; Matthew 3:1-12; Matthew 1:18-25.