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
“The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1)
Read the following passages and then spend a moment in quiet stillness before God.
Readings: Psalm 126 and Malachi 3:1-4
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.
- Pray for the ability to deny ourselves and serve others
- Pray for the commitment to do justice and show mercy
- Pray for those seeking asylum
Coming Jesus, how can I face your refining fire? I know I am broken and confess that I have sinned. Thank you for the rich comfort and confidence that you, my judge, have already stood trial in my place; you have removed from me the whole curse and court is adjourned. How can I thank you enough? Amen. (prayer based on the Heidelberg Catechism, question 52).
*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year
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.
Great Things (Mary) by Melanie Penn
Melanie’s Immanuel brings all original songs that are written from the perspective of the angels, Mary, Joseph, Gabriel and even Simeon who lived through the first Christmas. Enjoy!
A little more about Mel: Melanie Penn is a singer, songwriter and worship leader based in Brooklyn. For many years she was a mainstay in the NYC theatre scene and an award-winning musical theatre actress, primarily touring with the Broadway musical ‘Grease!’ She transitioned to songwriting and released three songwriter albums to critical acclaim (Wake Up Love, 2010, Hope Tonight, 2015 and Immanuel, 2017).
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (Ps. 27:14)