Advent: God With Us
Advent Calendar 2021
December 25: Merry Christmas from SVC Staff
December 25, 2021
Merry Christmas from Summit View Church Staff! We love you! Don't forget that tomorrow's (Dec.26th) service is an all-church family service hosted at our Heritage Park Campus. Services are at 9 am & 11 am. See you there! 7701 NE 182nd Ave. Vancouver, WA
December 24, 2021
REFLECT: Merry Christmas Eve, Summit View family! We hope to see you, your family, and your loved ones TONIGHT 12/24 as we celebrate the birth of our Savior at one of our Christmas Eve services! Check out service times & locations below! Heritage Park Campus | 7701 NE 182nd Ave. Vancouver, WA | 3PM & 5PM Westside Campus | 11718 NW 31st Ave. Vancouver, WA 98685 | 3PM & 5PM Battle Ground Campus | 1900 NW 20th Ave. Battle Ground, WA 98604 | 6PM Can’t join us in person? Our Online Campus will be streaming the service live at 3PM & 5PM. In town for the weekend? Join us for our day-after-Christmas All-Church gathering at the Heritage Park Campus. All-Church Family Service | 7701 NE 182nd Ave. Vancouver, WA | 9AM & 11AM We would love to see you there!
December 23: Mary & Joseph, Part 2
December 23, 2021 • Michael Hearn • Luke 2:1–7
REFLECT: The story of Jesus is unlike any other story. The Creator of the universe, the very son of God, would humble Himself to take on the form of a servant. He took on flesh to come live among His creation so that His life could be a ransom for many. He would live the life that you and I could never live and He would die the death that you and I deserved to die. He took the wrath of God upon Himself and rose again in victory from death’s hollowed gaze. All of this, so that we could exchange our brokenness for His righteousness. So this Christmas, reflect on the truth that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. RESPOND: Have you embraced this truth in your own life? If you have yet to accept the offer of salvation through Jesus, now is the time! Take a moment to pray this prayer today: "God, I am a sinner and not worthy of your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus is the Christ and has died in my place to grant me forgiveness for all my sins. I accept Him as my Lord and Savior today and am ready to begin living for Him this Christmas Season." If you prayed that prayer for the first time, we’d love to know about it! Text us at 360-260-8300 to let us know. One of our pastors would love to meet with you and help you get started in your new relationship with Jesus. Already a follower of Jesus? Spend some time today thanking Him for saving you. Ask Him to reveal areas of your life He wants to redeem and grow you in this Christmas.
December 21: It wasn’t a Silent Night
December 21, 2021 • Michael Hearn
REFLECT: Was it really a "Silent Night"? When we think about the past or retell stories we tend to modify them over time. It can be tempting to gloss over the uncomfortable details to make things more neat & tidy, or simple & straight forward, and Christmas is no exception. So what was that first night REALLY like? And what does God have for us to learn about that "Not So Silent" but "O So Holy Night"? This Christmas, we invite you to look beyond the all too familiar renditions of the Christmas story, and dwell on the implications of what God has offered us: Salvation through a Savior! RESPOND: You've been given a unique set of gifts. Now is the time to share them in a spiritual act of worship. Sign up to volunteer and use your gifts to serve the church. SV Kids, Worship Team, Tech, Hospitality, Youth Ministry, Ushers, Prayer Team, wherever you feel called has opportunities for you to serve. Text Connect to 360-260-8300 to sign up for the area of serving you feel called to be in.
December 20: Light of The World
December 20, 2021
REFLECT: Are you in a season of waiting? Do you feel like things aren’t going as planned and all your questions remain unanswered? Do you feel hunger for more of the Lord’s presence yet feel far from Him? Have you prayed and prayed with no answer? Do you wonder or doubt God’s goodness? This is your hope – Jesus Christ, the light of the world, has come to save and to restore. To bring peace on earth. To be with us, and to heal us from suffering. For all who wait, for all who hunger, for all who've prayed, and for all who wonder – The King, the Messiah, Emmanuel has come. RESPOND: Where do you need peace in your life? Not just a good feeling about something but a peace that surpasses all understanding? God cares for you and desires you to rest in the safety of His promises. Spend time today identifying where in your life you need His peace, then reach out to a friend or a Life Group member and ask them to pray with you. Ask God to grant each of you His peace wherever you need it most this Christmas season.
December 19: Podcast. Mary's Bravery
December 19, 2021 • Jon Siebert
REFLECT: As Christians, we are not promised an easy go at life. In fact, we are warned by Jesus in Matthew 10:22, “You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Mary gives us a perfect example of this: she is young, terrified, doesn’t fully understand, but answers the angel with an unabashed “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Her entire reputation is at stake, as well as Joseph’s, yet they faithfully trust in God’s will. How much in your life are you driven by what other people think of you? Are you willing to push through the fear of rejection for the sake of Jesus’ name? RESPOND: For some of you, this will be a big and scary ask: Tell at least one person about Jesus this week! Step outside of your comfort zone and preach the gospel! Even if it’s scary, even if you’re not sure what people will think. Step out and live your calling to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the lost around you--God wants to use you more than you know. “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
December 18: Jesus is Reason for the Season
December 18, 2021 • Luke 1:26–38
REFLECT: "Shopping for the last gift. Figuring out what you’re going to wear to your fourth Christmas party. Assembling the grocery list for Christmas Eve. Making sure you didn’t leave anyone off your Christmas card list. And so on… Our time is held captive by the myriad of tasks we must do during the Christmas season. And if we’re not careful, this list can strip us of remembering the true “reason for the season.” We celebrate Christmas to remember Jesus taking on flesh and stepping into this world. When we open the pages to the beginning of Luke, we read in awe of the unfolding events that brought us the baby Jesus laying in a manger. Over 2000 years have passed since the moment Jesus breathed His first breath. During this time, Christmas has become more about expectations other people placed on us and less about the expectations our Heavenly Father has for us. To do this, we must give Jesus our hearts and not just our minds. We must declare with words, actions, and priorities that Jesus truly is the reason for the season." RESPOND: As our mouth declares that “Jesus is the reason for the season", our priorities communicate that friends, gifts, family, and busyness is the real reason for the season. We have one week left before Christmas day. What shift will you make to declare with your heart that “Jesus is the reason for the season?”
December 17, 2021 • LeAnn Ashton • Luke 1:26–38
REFLECT: Last week we saw God’s plan unfolding through the promise of John the Baptist--the man sent to prepare the way for Jesus the Rescuer. This week we will focus on Jesus' birth! His birth is important because of what He came to do. God sent Him to earth as a human baby, to bring Him into our world, to save us from our sins. RESPOND: Plan with your family to celebrate Jesus’ birthday! You can make Him a birthday card--bake Him a cake! Sing Happy Birthday to Him. Whatever you like! You can post pictures of your birthday party for Jesus and tag us: @SVKidsVancouver. To access our extended family devotional click the following button.
December 16: Mary & Joseph, Part 1
December 16, 2021 • Kyle Wetzler • Luke 1:26–38
REFLECT: The past couple of years have been marked by unexpected difficulties, foiled plans, and losses to grieve. And yet, God promises that He is with us, even in the midst of confusion and uncertainty. Just as God was with Mary in a season of unexpected hardships, we can look to God and His eternal promises for comfort and security. May we be like Mary when unexpected circumstances come our way; resolved to likewise say "I am the Lord's servant…may things be for me as you have decided them to be." This simple act of submission opens us up to engage the presence of a gracious God and experience His favor and presence. RESPOND: What places in your life do you need to submit to God's perfect authority; your future, your finances, your relationships, your current circumstances? God has a plan for you. Take time today to sit with God; ask Him to reveal what strongholds might be holding you back from receiving all that He has for you, and surrender them to Him in a confession of faith today.
December 14: Behold the Lamb of God
December 14, 2021 • Kenan Stolz
REFLECT: This week has all been about Elizabeth and Zachariah. Their son, John the Baptist, became the one who was the “voice in the wilderness” and the one who “prepared the way of the Lord.” His mission on earth was not to be the Christ, but to declare to the world what he already knew before he was even born--that Jesus was the Christ and the Son of the Living God. He lived a life that pointed others to Jesus as their long-awaited Savior. Are you living a life this Christmas season that points others to Jesus? Do you find yourself caught up in the commercializion and busyness of Christmas or have you been able to engage the real reason for the season? Turn your eyes upon Jesus and declare His coming to the world. RESPOND: We are getting close to Christmas--just 10 more days! Who might God be calling you to share the joy of Christ with this Christmas season? Identify 2 people or families to attend a Christmas Eve service with you this year and invite them. Don’t know where to start? Print and fill out this invitation!
December 12: Podcast, Comfortable with Surprises
December 12, 2021
REFLECT: Romans 8:28 tells us “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Today, we see Elizabeth and Zechariah, righteous before God, having their greatest prayer answered and God working miraculously for their good. Not only is this miracle for their own personal good, but also for the good of the world! John comes on the scene as a blessed surprise, an unusual man born to unlikely parents. Ask yourself: “Am I comfortable with surprises? Am I open to God using the unlikely in my life for good, to fulfill His purposes?” RESPOND: Elizabeth & Zechariah received a great gift and surprise with the pregnancy of John the Baptist! How can you be a blessing in suprise to someone in your life this week? Bake a dozen cookies (or purchase from the store) for a neighbor or coworker and invite them to join you at church on Christmas Eve!
December 11: Podcast, A Heart Prepared
December 11, 2021 • Tim Furnanz
REFLECT: In this week’s passage, Gabriel’s describes how John would prepare the people of Israel: “He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their http://god...turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” Is your heart prepared to receive what God has for you this Christmas season? What might be keeping you from hearing from Him or being receptive to His refining hand? Sometimes it’s as simple as too many distractions, as complicated as past hurts driving us to hold tightly to a sense of control, or as straightforward as unrepented sin. This Christmas, how do you need to prepare to celebrate King Jesus? What does it look like for you turn your heart to God? RESPOND: As we anticipate celebrating Jesus, we don’t have to wait to engage Him; He doesn’t require us to submit a request for an audience with Him but rather invites us to talk with Him anytime and anywhere—even in the midst of our mess. Today, spend some time preparing your heart to celebrate Jesus at Christmas. Ask Him to reveal what distractions you might need to eliminate, the uncovering of sin requiring confession, and the softening of your heart to trust Him in all areas of your life. Invite the Spirit to prepare your heart for the King’s arrival and celebrate with joy.
December 10: The Birth of John The Baptist
December 10, 2021 • LeAnn Ashton
REFLECT: The word Advent means “coming.” During Advent, we remember Jesus' first coming and prepare our hearts for Him to return someday. Throughout the Bible, we see the unfolding of God’s big picture plan to bring a Rescuer--Jesus--and in today's passage we learn about the birth of John the Baptist, sent to prepare the way for Jesus, the Rescuer. RESPOND: Draw a picture of your favorite part of this story. Hang it up where you can see it, so that when you look at it, you will be reminded to prepare your heart for Jesus. Make charade cards from scenes or keywords from this story. Play charades as a family! To access our extended family devotional click the button!
December 9: Elizabeth and Zacheriah
December 9, 2021 • Kenan Stolz • John 1:29–34
REFLECT: As we approach the Christmas season, let us celebrate like Elizabeth--finding joy in our lives for how God works in the unexpected and celebrating His faithfulness. Even more more importantly, let us find our joy in the knowledge that our Messiah has come! Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, is with us and He is forever faithful; always at work in our lives. His plans will always come to pass in His perfect timing. Through His choice to come, He did for us what we could not do for ourselves, saving us from our sins and reconciling us to God. Our Savior is born! RESPOND: Got Zechariah syndrome? Spend some time reading throught Luke 1:5-25 again today. Search your thoughts and ask God to reveal to you any areas where you--like Zachariah--are not believing God's promises for your life. Confess those thoughts to Him and to a loved one; invite them to pray for you in this area, and ask God to clear out obstacles in your heart preventing you from receiving all that He has for you in this season.
December 7: Hope - The Silence Has Broken
December 7, 2021 • Michael Hearn
Hope is not optimism. Hope is an expectancy grounded in truth. As we conclude our first week of Advent, we’ve spent time talking about, singing about, and pondering the practical implication of the story--ancestry of Jesus found in Matthew 1 and what it looks like to be a part of His family today. The people listed in Matthew 1 were all integral parts of God’s story of reconciliation through Jesus. The lineage recognized in the Bible contributes to the Hope of a coming Savior. You too are part of God’s great story. If you are a faithful follower of Jesus, YOUR name is also written in a book--the Book of Life. This makes you are an heir with Christ and a son or daughter of the Living God! What are you hoping for this Christmas Season? Where do you need God's grace in your life? Where do you need to see a miracle? Pray with an understanding of God's truth today for those areas of hope in your life, the life of your family or your friends. Pray with an understanding that God loves you more than you can comprehend.