This Sunday marked the first week of Advent. Like many, our celebrations this year were somewhat muted by the global pandemic that continues to impact everyone’s daily life. I don’t know about you, but 2020 has felt like a mighty river rolling through our lives at peak flood stage. I’ve felt overwhelmed at times, exhausted at trying to stay above water and just praying for some dry ground to appear. So how appropriate is it that we come to the close of this turbulent year in the midst of Advent. Advent has long been one of my favorite seasons. First and foremost, Advent is a season of hope. But it’s not the hope that comes after you blow out the candles on your birthday cake and eagerly anticipate the gift opening. Advent is the hope that comes when you see the small beacon of light from the lighthouse piercing the darkness just beyond the rugged shore. Advent is a hope born of yearning…the fierce belief in the idea that there is something amazing and profoundly better on the horizon. Advent is a season of twilight….we walk in the darkness, but the light is coming.
A few years ago, I developed a daily Advent devotional for a church we were serving. This year, I thought I would share it with you. Each day, there will be a small Scripture passage followed by some thoughts and a guided prayer. Whether you choose this study or another, I encourage you to find some time in the midst of the busyness of the holiday season to take a walk with God, anticipating the light that will break through the deepest night. We are all yearning for something. Let God meet you where you are and show you his promises for your life.
Blessings and Peace,
Advent is the time when we prepare for the coming of Christ into the world. It begins with an acknowledgement of the darkness that surrounds us—the grief, the injustice, the poverty and the oppression. Begin, then, by making a list of the darkness that surrounds your life right now. If you feel led, write down those things in a journal. Ask God to show you the light in each of these circumstances.
Christ is the light that enters into this darkness, bringing with him the gifts of justice, hope, peace and love.
As followers of Christ, we are called to be bearers of the Light. We must clothe ourselves in God’s justice, hope, peace and love so that we might share these gifts with the world. How can you clothe yourself in God’s justice, hope, peace, and love today? What would that look like in your life? Where do you see each of these traits of God around you? Write those down, as well. Give God thanks for each of them.
This guide is designed to help you both experience and share the Light that is Christ with the world.
Today, pray that God will clear a space in your life to receive his gifts of justice, hope, peace and love. Then, ask God to give you opportunities to share those gifts with others. Choose one concrete action you will take today to show someone else God’s justice, hope, peace, or love.