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

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isa. 52:7)

Scripture Reading

Read the following passages and then spend a moment in quiet stillness before God.
Readings: Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 and Isaiah 35:1-10


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 our local and national communities
  • Pray for the continent of North America
  • Pray for International crises


Incarnate Lord, why do we easily consider our bodies as shameful or something to get beyond, when you’re quite fond of them? Forgive us for trying to be more spiritual than you are by denying our human earthiness. Overtake us with joy that you have come physically to this world, taking a face and sharing our flesh, for truly being our Immanuel, “God with us.” Amen. (prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 18).

*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.

O Sapientia (“O” artwork by Linda Richardson)

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.


I cannot think unless I have been thought,
Nor can I speak unless I have been spoken.
I cannot teach except as I am taught,
Or break the bread except as I am broken.

O Mind behind the mind through which I seek,
O Light within the light by which I see,
O Word beneath the words with which I speak,
O founding, unfound Wisdom, finding me,
O sounding Song whose depth is sounding me,
O Memory of time, reminding me,

My Ground of Being, always grounding me,
My Maker’s Bounding Line, defining me,
Come, hidden Wisdom, come with all you bring,
Come to me now, disguised as everything.

Reflection by Malcom Guite

This is the first sonnet in a sequence of seven I have written in response to the seven Advent prayers known as the ‘O Antiphons.’

In its first centuries the Church developed a custom of praying seven great prayers, calling afresh on Christ to come, addressing him by the mysterious titles found in the Old Testament, particularly in Isaiah: ‘O Wisdom!’ ‘O Root!’ ‘O Key!’ ‘O Light!’ ‘O Emmanuel!’

These prayers were said ‘antiphonally,’ as the name suggests, either side of the Magnificat at Vespers from 17 to 23 December (although in some places they begin a day earlier, on 16 December). Each antiphon begins with the invocation ‘O’ and then calls on Christ, although never by name. The mysterious titles and emblems given him from the pages of the Old Testament touch on our deepest needs and intuitions; then each antiphon prays the great Advent verb, Veni, ‘Come!’


“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.” (Luke 1:68)