Beginning, Again

Despite the remarkable (if I do say so myself) number of holiday tasks I have already checked off the to-do list, I still can’t quite believe that it is That Time Again! I think the Southern California weather confuses me… my Midwestern brain doesn’t grasp that the autumn and winter holidays still come even while the sun is shining, the grass is green, and the orange and palm trees sway (as the song goes). But even here in Fantasyland, tomorrow begins the season of Advent, and once again I’m undertaking the discipline of daily(ish) blogging and sharing reflections of the season with you.
If you’re a new reader, here’s my disclaimer: these devotions are by no means well-researched, backed by hours of theological study. Each day’s reflection is based on a scripture reading, but in order to keep up with a daily practice I give myself permission to write in a “first impressions,” “off the cuff” style as I read and reflect on the texts. Over the month I will be writing prayers, poems, maybe a hymn lyric or two, prose reflections, an occasional thought-list. In them you’ll find places where I am challenged or struggling, questions I’m asking, and hopefully some gentleness and encouragement through these days of holiday-making.
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For this year’s scripture readings I am turning to the traditional Advent lectionary texts that many churches use for their Sunday worship. Each week incorporates an Old Testament prophet, a Psalm, a New Testament epistle, and a Gospel reading. I’ll be splitting up those texts into four separate days; the remaining days of the week may include further reflection on the whole week’s group of texts, or other random thoughts (or days off!). Each day I will link to the day’s reading so you can quickly click and read the text online if you like.
Here is the reading list for the whole season:
Week 1: Nov. 28-Dec. 4
Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44
Week 2: Dec. 5-11
Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12
Week 3: Dec. 12-18
Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 146:5-10
James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11
Luke 1:47-55
Week 4: Dec. 19-25
Isaiah 7:10-16
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-25
I’ll select a reading for Christmas Day as it gets closer!
Thank you for joining me for this Advent journey. I hope this season is full of hope, peace, love, and joy for you and your family.

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