Pastoral Prayer at the End of Advent

Beautiful Advent Prayer

Sicut Locutus Est

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Most gracious God,

desire of every living thing,

you have lighted our way in Advent

candle by candle,

dispelling our gloom.

and now four candles shine.

The night is almost over.

The Day is almost here.

But not yet.

Promise by promise

you have cleared our sight

with words from afar,

dreams, signs and wonders,

and now the Word made flesh

Is almost appearing.

But not yet.

Grace by grace

you have kept us awake,

brightening our eyes of faith,

and now we watch only a little more.

Now on tiptoe we see

the one we waited for

is almost here.

But not yet.

At the end of Advent,

in these days of not quite yet,

look with compassion

on the pain of the joyless,

the grief of the childless,

the sorrow of the bereaved:

for not all people enjoy the season,

not every family embraces,

not every womb conceives…

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2017 Advent Daily Devotional

Advent is a time of preparation, expectancy, and reflection. While our days may be filled with shopping for gifts, trimming the tree, attending holiday parties, and planning an elaborate Christmas feast, let us set aside time each day to commune with the the Lord who comes to us. Below you will find a PDF version of my 2017 Advent Daily Devotional, God Comes to Us.

God Comes to Us

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Worth Reading:

An interesting article in a series: N. T. Wright answers “What makes a good biblical scholar or theologian?” 

This quote struck me as especially relevant as a scholar-practitioner of worship.

But to a Christian studying all this I would say: your personal reading of scripture (especially the Psalms), your prayer, your participation in the church’s rhythm of sacramental worship on the one hand and service to the poor (in whatever form) on the other – all this will form you as a person, including (but going beyond) who you are as a thinking person, in ways you won’t see at the time and perhaps not ever. But it will create and sustain a life in which your historical and theological study will be informed and infused with the life of the Holy Spirit; not to make you a perfect or infallible theologian or historian but to guide you in many appropriate directions and, not least, to give you courage when attempting difficult tasks and consolation when you fail (as we all do), as well as humility on the odd occasions you might really succeed.

Being formed and shaped in the image of God is a primary goal of Christian life. While in seminary, I was frequently reminded not to let my study of God overshadow or replace my relationship with God. In ministry, working for God easily substitutes with spending intentional time in the presence of God. My commitment has been to a daily devotional time as my day begins. That practice has expanded, and I believe, is the most sustaining aspect of my ministry and my life.

How do you integrate the pursuit of knowledge with faith formation?

God is Present (Howard Thurman)

God is present with me this day. GOD is present with me in the midst of my anxieties. I affirm in my own heart and mind the reality of His presence. He makes immediately available to me the strength of His goodness, the reassurance of His wisdom and the heartiness of His courage. My anxieties are real; they are the result of a wide variety of experiences, some of which I understand, some of which I do not understand. Continue reading “God is Present (Howard Thurman)”