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Advent Devotionals Foreword

Advent Devotionals Foreword

There is something comforting about a familiar routine; the sense of "everythinginitsplaceness" that comes from approaching a place we know and love — anticipating hearing, seeing, smelling, touching, tasting things just as we remember them. This year, more than any I can remember, I think we all need that comfort. Our lives have been disrupted by storms — whether a hurricane, a flood, or a grief; things seem decidedly out of place. We need the gift that Advent offers: a return to the Good News that God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself. We need to harken back to the story of Christmas — the angel’s announcement, the pregnant road trip to Bethlehem, the reality that there was no room in the Inn for the King of the world, the stable and swaddling clothes, the cattle lowing and shepherds bowing and wise men following the star.

Advent helps us wait for Christmas. Not the kind of waiting we do at the doctor’s office or in the jury pool — the kind that makes us more tired the longer it goes on. The kind of waiting that fills us with Good News of Great Joy. The kind of waiting and longing that invites us into the story — to be messengers of the Good News; bringing God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. The kind of waiting that opens us to see Christmas happening all around us — Immanuel, God with us, as an incarnate reality.

Our devotionals have been prepared to help us wait. The act of reading the devotions each day is for many of us part of the familiar pattern of the season that includes reading the prophetic promises of a coming Messiah and Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth, singing Christmas carols, sending and receiving Christmas cards, lighting Advent candles, and gathering with family. These devotions, honest portrayals of hope, love, joy, and peace remind us that people we love are on the journey to the manger along with us.

I hope that among the gifts you receive at Christmas this year is a familiar routine that calls you into the Family of God. Christmas is coming; all is well!

Grace and truth,

Steve


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