Advent Blog 2020 – Devotional Download

Each Friday we will share a devotional reflection. A devotional is something that you can use for spiritual reflection (writing, poetry, images, etc.) that help prompt your meditation, prayer, journaling, or just to ponder throughout the day.

“… an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled: Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will call him, Emmanuel. (Emmanuel means ‘God with us.’)”
— the Gospel of Matthew

This week we light the first candle on our Advent Wreaths and begin our Advent journeys. As we light our first candle of Hope, we recognize we need Hope in order to have Peace, Joy, and Love. Hope gives us the ability to aspire to these other three.

This week, if you are feeling despair, anxiety, or fear from the difficulty of this year (and the uncertainty of the future), allow this light to remind you that you are not alone. Remember: the angel’s message Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds was “do not be afraid.” We believe that the Christmas message of “God With Us” (Emmanuel) is why Jesus came to be with us. He was born into a world that was also experiencing trouble, unrest, oppression, and fear. God wanted to be with us then, and God still wants to be with us in a Spirit of Hope that never dies.

Adapted from Dr. Marcia McFee’s Advent Resource

What ways are you inviting hope into your life this week?
Write down a list of 5 hopes you hold in your heart today.

“Drawing Near”
A Blessing for Advent

It is difficult to see it from here,
I know,
but trust me when I say
this blessing is inscribed
on the horizon.
Is written on
that far point
you can hardly see.
Is etched into
a landscape
whose contours you cannot know
from here.
All you know
is that it calls you,
draws you,
pulls you toward
what you have perceived
only in pieces,
in fragments that came to you
in dreaming
or in prayer.
I cannot account for how,
as you draw near,
the blessing embedded in the horizon
begins to blossom
upon the soles of your feet,
shimmers in your two hands.
It is one of the mysteries
of the road,
how the blessing
you have traveled toward,
waited for,
ached for
suddenly appears,
as if it had been with you
all this time,
as if it simply
needed to know
how far you were willing
to walk
to find the lines
that were traced upon you
before the day
you were born.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace © Jan Richardson.