As I mentioned on Sunday, the season of Advent offers us a series of invitations, not the usual Christmas invitations, but invitations, that writer Debie Thomas describes as, “hard-edged; [that] don’t look pretty on greeting cards. But…are essential and life-giving, nevertheless.”
Advent is an invitation to tell the truth. To lament what is happening in our world or in our lives at present.
Advent is an invitation to yearn – to want and to want fiercely! What is it that you want and want fiercely for our world at present? Advent is the season for crying out our longings for a righteous God to restore our world.
Advent is an invitation to wait, but this is not a passive or idle waiting. It is passionate and active. I love the Eugene Peterson description of the Christian life I included in Sunday’s message – “A long obedience in the same direction.”
Lastly, advent is an invitation to imagine – to lean into God’s promised future.
I hope (like me!) you are really appreciating our weekday Advent reflections – written by members of the congregation – which are helping us to reflect on the invitations of Advent and how we are preparing for the birth of Jesus into our lives and into our world this Christmas.
As you are receiving these daily readings, this will be the last Sunday to Sunday for a couple of weeks. There are also a couple of writers still needed for Week 3 – “Celebrating God’s presence” (contributions needed by Fri 9 Dec) and Week 4 – “Joining God’s mission” (contributions needed by Fri 16 Dec). If you would like to contribute a reflection – please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally – are you looking for a gift for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life?
This week an email popped into my inbox about The Upper Room Disciplines: A Book of Daily Devotions 2023. This is a book with weekly introductions to the four Bible readings that are the lectionary readings for that week – and daily readings that focus on one of the lectionary readings, with a commentary from different person each week. It also contains a ‘Guide to Daily Prayer’ at the conclusion of the book – incorporating morning, midday and evening prayer. Dr Diedre Palmer (former moderator of the Uniting Church) writes, “We have loved that Disciplines is built on the Revised Common Lectionary. It has been a way of preparing for weekly worship. When we come to Sunday worship, we have already had a week of exploring the lectionary readings… In the foreword… the authors express their hope… [that] “this annual collection of daily encounters with our Creator will awaken or strengthen your awareness of God’s presence everywhere along your life’s path.” For our household, this hope has been met!”
I see that last year’s version received a 4.4. from Goodreads (if you pay attention to such things! 😊) You can order the materials (also in large print!) directly from Mediacom (the Uniting Church resource centre) on the links below – or you can order the materials from most of the online places where good books are sold!
Take time to reflect on the invitations of Advent. Tale time to reflect on our Advent reflections! Grace and peace be with you all!
PS If you want to unsubscribe from this email at any time – please contact the office – email@example.com
We have felt encouraged in our journey with Christ. It has sparked wonderful conversations in our family. We have spoken about how the commentary has rung true for us at this particular moment, or we have reflected on our different viewpoints from the writer or each other