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)
Read the following passages and then spend a moment in quiet stillness before God.
Readings: Psalm 126 and Romans 13:11-14
Leisurely read again…is there a word or idea that stirred within you? Linger over it and give it your attention…is there something about the reading you’d like to ask God about? Pray your life to God…take a moment to rest in God’s presence.
- Pray for those living in poverty and suffering injustice
- Pray for our capacity to suffer with others
- Pray for those who are refugees
Sovereign God, on the coming judgment day the book on my life will be opened and a verdict will be given. Knowing that every idle work, every well-guarded secret and shadowed hypocrisy will be uncovered makes me want to run for cover. Remind me that just as you gave Adam and Eve garments to cover their shame, you dress me up in Christ-clothes that I might stand before you. 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
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.
A Child Shall Lead Them by Stephen Crotts (see below)
The image below is a woodcut relief print created by Stephen Crotts. Stephen enjoys partnering with folks to communicate the true, good, and beautiful. This particular image conveys the New Creation hope from Isaiah 11.
Learn more about his art here.
“Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people” (Revelation 22:20-21).