December 1st devo image, a grassy field with frost on it.

Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements?

What is Advent?

Advent is the four-week season of preparation to celebrate the coming of Jesus at Christmas. This year we will prepare room for Christ in our hearts and lives through daily readings in from Philip Reinder’s Seeking God’s Face and the occasional work of art: a song, a painting, or a poem. Something that will sneak past our usual barriers of noise, hustle and busyness to help cultivate a discerning eye for both our sin and the hope Christ carries with him.

Our hope is that this season of expectant waiting will help us to tap into both our sense that the world is not as it should be AND (a glorious and!) that God in Christ has come down to bring healing and consolation to our broken world and hearts. Advent is a season, then, where we say: All shall be well! Because the true King has come!

Call to Prayer

“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5)

Scripture Reading

Read the following passages and then spend a moment in quiet stillness before God.
ReadingsPsalm 72:1-7 and Matthew 24:36-42

Dwelling

Read again slowly…find a word or phrase that catches your eye or moves your heart…slowly repeat it…pray your thoughts, desires, needs, and feelings from your meditation…enjoy the presence of your Lord and Savior.

Free Prayer

  • Pray for the wonder of creation.
  • Pray for the care of all creation.
  • Pray for our capacity to see God. In all things, ever creature a word or book from God.

Prayer

Coming Savior, you are the Word, the wisdom, and the very image of the Father. Ready my ears to hear your word of truth, my heart to learn the ways of your wisdom, and my eyes to see the beauty of your likeness. Amen. (prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 8).

*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year

Wonder

Advent begins in the dark. Literally. It is the darkest time of the year. Advent, which begins our church calendar, begins facing this darkness. Advent comes to us as a gift of darkness, emptiness, and says – will you enter this period of waiting with me? Will you pause to remember and recognize your own emptiness and darkness – and practice longing for the light? These works of art invite us to enter into the wonder and waiting for the Light of the World to dawn on Christmas morn.

Remedy by Kyra Hinton
Kyra is an artist who paints with “living ink,” an ink technique she developed, which builds dimensional worlds in puddles of chemically-reactive ink on paper or clay.

Her work “Remedy” (seen below) is a double exposure where various layers of the ink paintings shine through each other to create something new. She notes, “‘Remedy’ captures the feeling of a rising sun through morning’s misty blanket, of a sunlit wisp lilting up from a warm mug, of the slightest turning heart in anticipation of an Advent hope to come. Maybe not clear, but clearing. Maybe not yet, but soon. Maybe not here, but coming.”

REFLECT: Spend some time in prayer today asking God to cultivate a sense of wonder at his first Advent and anticipation of the hope of his second Advent. Ask him for endurance in this “time between” for navigating daily troubles that are often interwoven with unanticipated sorrows and hardship as well.

Benediction

“Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people” (Revelation 22:20-21).

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