December 2nd devo image, pine tree needles.

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 85:1-2, 8-13 and Mark 13:32-37

Dwelling

Remind yourself you are in God’s presence and read again…notice how God might be speaking to you through his Word—dwell on a word or phrase that jumps out at you…let your heart respond to God in prayer…take refreshment in God’s presence.

Free Prayer

  • Pray for our national and local communities.
  • Pray for the continent of Africa.
  • Pray for areas of war and strife.

Prayer

Unexpected Savior, you are coming again, but this date, already marked down by the Father, isn’t for me to know. But I’m curious, Lord, desiring a timeline or diagram, wanting to nail down a future that’s out of my hands. In place of my faithless need to control, give me a watchful heart full of expectation and wonder. Amen. (prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 37).

*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.

O Love Divine, Come Down by John Hendrix (see below)

John Hendrix is an illustrator by trade. Over the years, he has compiled several sketchbooks-worth of “sermon sketches.”

He notes, “My sketchbook drawing doesn’t just involve rendering objects in my sight lines, but translating ideas into visual concepts. My favorite time to do this is in church. On Sunday mornings, sitting in a creaky wooden church pew, I draw during the sermon. As the preacher climbs behind the pulpit and begins, I open my sketchbook and uncap my pen. With pick axe in hand, I look for a ripe spot and start digging.

REFLECT: John’s sketch brings to mind the fact that Scripture is filled with trees as a symbols of being connected to God and his ongoing renewal of us spiritually (think Psalm 1!). What has taken root in your life over the last year? What might God be planting in the soil of your heart for the coming year?

Benediction

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

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