ADVENT DEVOTIONAL

Friends, 

 

Do you remember 2021, when you put together a Sacred Space at home where you and your loved ones worshipped that Lent? You were encouraged to use a serving tray, with candles and your bible open to that week’s scripture. Your sacred space found its home likely either on your TV stand or dining room table. You were encouraged to make it a family event, to worship with your loved ones. We asked you to get worship on the biggest screen available and to turn your sound system’s volume up because worship, especially at Calvin, is an immersive experience filled with divine sights and sounds. Those who did said they weren’t disappointed. They were blown away by the difference it made and said it alone was inspiring! Well, for Advent 2022 we’re pairing the sacred space concept with this year’s daily Advent devotional! 

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Why are we doing this? Simply stated, Calvin’s sanctuary is the sacred space, the holy space it is because her members don’t just show up unprepared for worship; that’s what most congregations do. No, Calvin is a praying church that practices various spiritual disciplines every day to live a more transformed life, to fight the good fight day in and day out, to more fully take in and live into this new thing God is doing! 

 

Each of the four weeks in Advent, you will be encouraged to take either Mary, Joseph, Herod, or the Christ child out of your Nativity scenes. To place it in your sacred space. To meditate upon it. To take a slow deep breath, breathing in all that is good, and slowly breathe out all that is not. To prayerfully listen to that week’s the anthem or meditation above. To do your daily devotion asking, "God, what do you have in store for me today?"

 

“Herod?” you ask, “No one has a Herod in their Nativity Scenes!” You’re right, that’s why I asked Glen Sanders to make a Herod’s crown for us, pictured above. We encourage you to be creative with what you use to symbolize Herod; he is after all, part of The Full Story (see 11/20/22 sermon http://ow.ly/3seh50LK2He). You could just pick up a crown from Burger King, make one yourself, or find something else that represents to you power, dominance and empire and its contemporary correlations to war and violence. We can only imagine how the Spirit will add depth, meaning and inspiration to our nativity scenes each year hereafter when we take them out, dust them off and put them in the center of our Christmas decorations. Maybe you’ll even feel called to create a new Sacred Space in future years that will deepen the transformative process for you, your loved ones, and Calvin.

 

We cannot encourage you enough to post pictures and videos of each day’s sacred spaces with the poetry, prose and prayer of that day’s devotional and descriptions of why it was meaningful to you and your loved ones. Just imagine if we flooded social media with transformational inspirations and all the good it will do. Pray about the hope it could spread to someone in the midst of despair. Pray about the patience it could offer to someone scattered by the holiday rush. Pray about the joy it could bring someone feeling the Christmas blues. Pray about the love it could spread to an increasingly hate-filled world. If a single post brings the real meaning of Christmas to a single person, pray about how God could use it to transform the world! AMEN?!

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