Sunday, December 20

To begin, light all four Advent candles. The fourth candle symbolizes love. If desired, play the Advent Contemplative Playlist during your devotional time.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:10-12

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17

Salvation, life, light, hope, peace, joy, and grace beyond measure–all has been made a reality to us through the perfect love of God. This is why we celebrate the birth of Jesus. For in His arrival, being God clothed in human likeness, He brought with Him gifts and remedies for the human heart’s deepest of inward longings. He came not out of obligation, spite, or for a display of power. Instead Christ came because of God’s love for ailing humanity.

This is the good news we preach. So everything we do knowing this matchless gift of God– whether it be worship, the confession of sins, loving our neighbor, the practice of generosity, evangelism, or the process of sanctification–it all comes back to the  great love of God shown through the birth and eventual sacrifice of Christ.

In the echoes of our celebration of Christ’s loving arrival that established hope and peace and joy, we can hear promises of a second advent. The second coming will be an arrival that sounds like promises fully realized. A time where tears and death will be a distant memory. Where the curse of sin will be completely expunged, and the people of Risen King will dwell with God fully for all eternity.

Guiding questions:

  • How is the Holy Spirit inviting you to be immersed in the love of God? What areas in your life need the reminder that you are first loved and redeemed by God?
  • What are a few ways you can posture yourself in a spirit of hope for Christ’s return?

Resting in the presence:

  • Take 5 minutes or so to sit in the presence of God and meditate on the love of God afresh today. Sit in a silent posture and ask the Holy Spirit to guide to a posture where you are built up in the love of Christ.
  • If you are finding it difficult to stay focused, read and pray through 1 John 4:9-11.

Daily Devotional for Week 4

Advent is a season of repentance and preparation as we grapple with our need for God’s intervention and God’s call to address injustice in the world. The focus of this fourth week of advent is love.

To begin, light the first Advent candle which symbolizes hope. If desired, play the Advent Contemplative Playlist during your devotional time.

Angels Announcing the Birth of Christ to the Shepherds

by Govert Flinck (1615-1660)

Listening Prayer » Take a few minutes to allow your whole self to be heard from God, and in return allowing your hearts to be opened to the whole being of God.

Scripture Reading » See daily readings below.

Watching Prayer » Take a few minutes to engage in prayer centered around letting God lead the conversation visually and speaking to and around what we see as we commune with him.

Closing Prayer » Jesus, may the light of your love always shine in our hearts. As Christmas draws closer, we marvel at your great love for us. Let your love transform every aspect of our lives and touch everyone we encounter. Our hearts are open to you, Jesus. Amen.

Monday, December 21

“…And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Scripture Reading » Luke 1:46b-55, 1 Samuel 1:1-18


Tuesday, December 22

“At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving others with God’s own love and concern.” – Mother Teresa

Scripture Reading » Psalm 96, Zephaniah 3:8-13

Wednesday, December 23

“The Lord is coming, always coming. When you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you will recognize him at any moment of your life. Life is Advent; life is recognizing the coming of the Lord.” – Henri Nouwen

Scripture Reading » Psalm 96, Zephaniah 3:14-20

Thursday, December 24

“I don’t think we’ll understand Advent correctly until we see it as a preparation for a revolution.” – Robert Barron

Scripture Reading » Psalm 96, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8