Advent Meditations

Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 23

by Antonio Gallardo

As I continue to reflect upon the scriptures for this season around the conception and birth of Jesus, a group of characters have been standing out for me lately like they have not done it before, the Shepherds.  I have read about, and heard about, many reflections about Joseph, Mary and Jesus’ stories, but I have not heard not equally as many stories about “The Shepherds.”

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 16

Togetherness by Jim Loduha

This Advent season my mind keeps coming back to the notion of togetherness. It’s a season in the church that reminds us that God is with us, together with us at all times in our lives and in history. Yet, this year seems particularly not “together.”

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 8

The Gospel from Matthew this week begins with the words: “When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing …”

Wait. John was in prison?
Oh, yeah. Right.
When you defy the Empire, it resists.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 7

by Susan Russell

This week we light the third candle on the Advent wreath and pray the prayer “Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us.” Sounds great – but what exactly does that mean? Sometimes I think we pray these things a little too lightly – it doesn’t hurt to occasionally consider what it is we’re asking for. What exactly happens when that power comes among us – rests upon us?

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 5

by Mike Kinman

O come, O come, Emmanuel. Advent is about longing. And we know longing. We know it well. From the moment we are born, we long to be touched, we long to be held. From our first cry, we long to be understood.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 4

by Jenny Tisi

During the summer, I get to do my second most favorite part of my job: I get to sit for hours and choose music for the next choir season. One of the anthems that I  picked for January is called “Angels Unaware.” Although the title has its roots in my most favorite Bible verse, Hebrews 13:2, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares,” the words to the song clearly state who these strangers are. The strangers are identified as our homeless brothers and sisters.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 3

by Mike Kinman

“But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.” (Luke 1:20) Probably my favorite minor character of Advent is Zechariah.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 2

by James Walker

As I write this short reflection on the eve of the first Sunday of Advent, I find myself in a place of deep gratitude for this season of expectant waiting and hopeful contemplation. Even at this very moment, as I returned from my favorite lunch place where the restaurant staff was removing pumpkins and replacing them with baby Christmas trees and reindeer, I have once again made the conscious decision to not surrender. Advent, yes!

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: November 30

by Susan Russell

God of light and shadow, mystery and miracle: prepare our hearts to receive your precious gift of love. Reawaken us to the wonder of this holy season. Keep watch with us as we await the new advent of justice and compassion.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: November 29

by Susan Russell

The first candle of Advent — the Candle of Hope — is lit on the Advent wreath. We’ve prayed the familiar words “give us grace to cast away the works of darkness” and now we wait.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: November 28

by Sally Howard

This Advent in particular, I have been drawn to the figure of John the Baptist. That’s surprising to me because he’s not my favorite character of the Bible. I am usually happy to get past him and on to the annunciation of God’s incredible love story, of utter identification with us and our vulnerability, in the coming of baby Jesus.

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Ed Bacon

Ed Bacon: “Hope In Your Heart”


Ed Bacon on Sunday, December 7:

“We have gathered to be reminded of the story of how God deals with sin, injustice, violence and division — and to be given touchstones for how to live in the house of love.”