INTRODUCTION to ADVENT DEVOTIONS in 2021
Daily devotions begin on Sunday, November 28 and will appear on this page until Christmas Day. Join me in praying Scripture during the season of Advent.
Advent is the season to prepare to re-member (make our own) the incarnation of God in Christ Jesus so that we live the Jesus Way and not our own. Reading Scripture is an essential practice to help us re-member and live rightly. This Advent I’ve chosen less familiar biblical texts to read, some of which aren’t normally associated with Advent. The overall theme for these Advent devotions is all things new, which in Scripture includes all creation, not merely humans. Jesus’ incarnation is about “making all things new” (Revelation 21:5).
Each week follows an aspect of all things new, beginning, in week 1 with the Advent call to repentance, i.e., turning around and changing the way we now live, so we live into God’s newness. Week 2 reflects on the nature of redemption as it relates to all creation being made new. Week 3 focuses on God’s call to live in newness and includes stories of those who were called to proclaim God’s new way of living. Week 4 reflects on passages that focus on becoming new in Christ, stories of the birth of key people, concluding with the birth of Christ.
The format for these devotions is based on the ancient prayerful Bible reading practice known as lectio divina (holy or sacred reading). There are 6 stages, beginning with space to quieten the heart and prepare to listen to God’s Word. If you use Advent candles, this period includes lighting them. 2nd, prayerfully and slowly read the biblical text; 3rd prayerfully wonder on the text as you read the meditation; 4th prayerfully reflect focusing on your thoughts and emotions, using the question or comment suggested; 5th, respond to Jesus in prayer, using the written prayer or one in your own words. The final stage, live obediently, is a reminder that we are to be doers of the word and not merely hearers. Follow these stages if you find them helpful.