A Wonder-Filled AdventNew Every Morning | December 5, 2022
How can we fill the season of Advent with more wonder? As Tom Wright, the distinguished New Testament scholar, reminds us, if we remove Advent—that is, attentively waiting for Jesus’ birth—from the Bible, we lose half the Old Testament and most of the New, including stories of Jesus’ ancestors, the words of the prophets, and the mystery of the Incarnation. Most certainly, if we don’t observe Advent thoughtfully, we will not arrive at Christmas ready for the Christ child. … But if we embrace Advent—this special time of anticipating the mystery of the Incarnation—we will find our celebration of Jesus’ coming at Bethlehem filled with wonder and awe.
—Trevor Hudson, Pauses for Advent: Words of Wonder (Upper Room Books, 2017)
What music helps you embrace the wonder of Jesus’ birth? Join the conversation.
But the angel said to [the shepherds], “Do not be afraid, for see, I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”
—Luke 2:10-11 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Holy One, guide me as I reflect on the wonder of Jesus’ birth this Advent. May Jesus be born anew in my life. Help me to show his love and grace to others. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
This year, The Upper Room Chapel is celebrating Advent with preachers from across the globe in a special Advent Around the World Series. Hear preachers from Ukraine and the Caribbean, just to name a few. Join us on Facebook or YouTube each Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. (CST) for a moment of prayer and worship this Advent season.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
There are numerous hymns, carols that I love during Advent and Christmas, have heard many since I was very little and the list grows as I age.
I tried the breathe prayer and have found a time and place where I will continue to do it. Very calming and positive.
Yesterday’s worship, communion, fellowship went well, more of the cookies were sold, very thankful for that.
Our coordinating pastor and lay pastor are working to determine some answers to questions about our faith community. I see it as very positive. In an old way of speaking we have live coals, they need to ignite a new fire and bring a blazing spirit of growth.
A message from our retiring bishop, “God loves you and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Thankful to have a new like thinking bishop, but wish it was for a longer period of time. Her term ends in 2024.
Bright and sunny today, tempos below freezing.
Tomorrow is Saint Nicholas day. I have three generations of my family who have different spellings of this name. Hope the bake at home German Brötchen (small bread – aka rolls) are as good as I hope.
Prayers your Advent is full of peace, patience, and blessings. Thank You, Lord.
I love the carol “Do you hear what I hear?” It reminds me that everyone is iinvited to hear the good news and that the animals and shephards were the first to be told of the birth. They are an important part of the story and show that the good news is for everyone, not just the rich and powerful. It also reiterates the message that God loves and exalts the lowly and humbles the proud.
Hate to rub it in Robert, but skiing started at our local resorts the day after Thanksgiving. In the elevations they have had much snow and also the cold weather allowed for snow to be made. So tell Erich to come on down to Seven Springs. Megan and I spent yesterday together shopping. I finished buying her stocking gifts. Today she is off work to go to a doctor’s appointment. Thank goodness for her friends as she refuses to go to doctors but they encouraged her to see a rheumatologist regarding her arthritus. She has agreed to see the same one I see for my Raynaud’s as I spoke highly of him.
Music is one of the things I cherish about Advent and Christmas. My favorite advent hymn is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. I sing it every day during advent. I also love Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent. Their ancient words and music lift my heart and remind me to worship as a sing or listen.
Robert, glad to hear of the progress at your church. God is going to use UMC in a mighty way. Never tried the bread you mentioned. But o did find some marzipan stollen. It is delicious with coffee or tea. Julie, I too love Do You Hear What I Hear. Beautiful song. I associate it with wonderful Christmases past. Beautiful memories. Will be in prayer for Megan. I’m glad she’s going to the Dr.
Lou, I pray you can give yourself grace and find ways to make the season meaningful. It is hard when you are grieving. I am much in prayer for your family as you mourn your brother. May your mom feel the Lord’s presence in a special way.
I don’t know that any specific music/song helps me “embrace the wonder of Jesus’ birth”, but I have always loved “What Child is This?” and “O Holy Night”. This past week I have become enamored with Amy Grant’s rendition of “Breath of Heaven”…some of the words are just what is needed right now. My first spiritual director introduced me a prayer, abbreviating a verse from Psalm 46. “Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am. Be still and know. Be still. Be.” I found a parallel at the end of the second verse of “Breath of Heaven”…”Help me be strong. Help me be. Help me.” I have made it my prayer for this Advent season.
My sister has been having problems with her shoulder and found out today the MRI showed a torn rotator cuff and she has to have surgery in January. She is very upset about it. Talking about not returning to Florida in January with dad and Don. But I am trying to get her to go down for a week, because I am going down and returning with me. She thinks she will move in with her oldest son to rehab, as she will need quite a bit of care.
Our “campus” has our school and a middle school in attaching buildings. A student at the middle school brought a gun to school today. So one more hullabaloo – what a fiasco. Another school in our district last week had a stabbing. Things are heightening, as we are likely going to strike in January. Not over money, or health benefits, but safety. It seems all these things keep happening, which just strengthens our side.
Today was my fourth trip to physical therapy – and I am not seeing much results. The one massage therapist who works on me knows I am discouraged and she is a bit perplexed herself. There has been minimal progress.
Prayers, Lou, for your family’s continued healing, as you head towards the holidays. May your togetherness provide fertile ground for comfort.