Advent Quotes: Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Waiting is a forgotten art

December 1, 2015

In a sermon preached in Barcelona on the first Sunday of Advent, 2 December 1928, Bonhoeffer said:

“Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting, however, is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespected hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them.”

– h/t The Rev. Patrick Comerford in his Advent blog entry yesterday


An Advent Prayer: Illumine our way this Advent

November 30, 2015

From yesterday’s Advent devotional at Biola’s FANTASTIC online multimedia Advent calendar, an excellent Advent prayer:

Lord Jesus, as we enter into this Advent season, we confess to You our brokenness and dependency. We confess to You our spiritual wanderings and distracted hearts. We confess to You the darkness of our souls without the rescue light of You, our Savior. “Create in us a clean heart” (Psalm 51:10) and a prayerful posture of dependence upon You, the living Word, light of humanity, Divine Initiator, filled with grace and truth. Illumine our way in this Advent season.  Amen.


Advent Poems: Christina Rossetti’s “Advent Sunday” (Behold the Bridegroom Cometh) – read by Malcolm Guite

November 29, 2015

One of the Advent Series I am most excited about is Anglican priest and poet Malcolm Guite’s series for Advent 2015.  He’ll be reading an Advent poem from his Advent poetry anthology “Waiting on the Word” each day.

Today, for Advent Sunday, his reading is Christina Rossetti’s poem “Advent Sunday” (Behold the Bridegroom Cometh)

Here’s the text of the poem, which I found here.

Advent Sunday

Source: The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, with a Memoir and Notes by William Michael Rossetti (1904), page 156

BEHOLD, the Bridegroom cometh: go ye out
With lighted lamps and garlands round about
To meet Him in a rapture with a shout.

It may be at the midnight, black as pitch,
Earth shall cast up her poor, cast up her rich.

It may be at the crowing of the cock
Earth shall upheave her depth, uproot her rock.

For lo, the Bridegroom fetcheth home the Bride:
His Hands are Hands she knows, she knows His Side.

Like pure Rebekah at the appointed place,
Veiled, she unveils her face to meet His Face.

Like great Queen Esther in her triumphing,
She triumphs in the Presence of her King.

His Eyes are as a Dove’s, and she’s Dove-eyed;
He knows His lovely mirror, sister, Bride.

He speaks with Dove-voice of exceeding love,
And she with love-voice of an answering Dove.

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh: go we out
With lamps ablaze and garlands round about
To meet Him in a rapture with a shout.

Before 1886.

Each day’s poetry reading is accompanied by a beautiful illustration by Lancia SmithHere’s her image to accompany today’s poem:

2 Behold the Bridegroom cometh 1 - wm

art credit:  Lancia E Smith: Behold the Bridegroom Cometh

Recommended Devotional Sites & Resources for Advent 2015

November 29, 2015

This post is sticky. Look below for new entries.

advent_vespersHappy Advent! Below is a list of some of the best sites for devotionals and prayers throughout Advent. Almost all the sites featured below will have new entries each day of Advent. We will update this list from time to time as we discover new websites. Resources marked “*(A)” are from the Anglican tradition.

Please feel free to share recommendations for Advent links & resources in the comments!

Don’t forget our Advent Devotionals category here at Lent & Beyond.


Sites featuring Regular Advent Devotional Reflections & Prayers:

  • Emily Polis Gibson’s Barnstorming blog and her special Advent series for 2015 “Anticipating God Among Us” – Emily’s mix of poetry, photographs, and reflections on Scripture make her Advent series a truly special gift to all who read her blog. Highly recommended!
  • Biola University’s online Advent calendar. This WONDERFUL Advent resource that began 2013 is back again for 2015. Truly EXCELLENT! Substantive reflections on Scripture, artwork, music… Again, this site is a special gift. Don’t miss it!
  • New for 2015:  related to the daily Advent poetry readings by Malcolm Guite, artist Lancia Smith has created a daily Advent image that illustrates each poem.  These are beautiful Advent visuals!  I’m excited about this resource!
  • New for 2015: Tamara Murphy, who blogs at This Sacramental life, is once again posting a daily Advent Daybook series for 2015.  (I’ve linked Tamara’s blog in the past, but somehow never got her blog included in my 2014 Advent links list.) Each day’s post includes a photo, a Scripture reading, a prayer, a musical selection, and a suggested activity.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  You can browse through her 2014 Advent Daybook entries here.

There’s MUCH more below… keep reading!

Read the rest of this entry »

Two Prayers for the first Sunday of Advent

November 29, 2015

The traditional Anglican collect for the First Sunday in Advent:

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.


A contemporary prayer for the First Sunday in Advent by Pastor Scotty Smith, from his blog Heavenward:

     You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isa. 40:9-11 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, on this first Sunday of Advent, we praise, bless and adore, for the privilege of celebrating your great faithfulness and your immeasurable generosity. You sent Jesus to us, and have given him for us. Every promise you have made finds its emphatic “Yes!” in Jesus (2 Cor. 1:20).

     Fuel our wonder and enflame our hearts, Father. Help us engage again, with the story of Jesus’ birth, with childlike wonder and renewed hope. Bring familiar Scriptures alive in fresh and transforming ways. We don’t trust in a season, but in our Savior.

     I love how Isaiah describes the Messiah coming to gather us up in his “Advent arms.” To be tended as a helpless lamb, to be held close to your heart, to be gently led—what more could we possibly need or desire? We believe; help our unbelief.

     And in Jesus, you come near to us as the Sovereign Lord, with your sleeves rolled up as the great ruler. Your arm rules over all history and every heartache, over all kings and every crises. Nothing and no one can alter, subvert, or change the story you are telling, and the kingdom you are advancing, through Jesus. Thankfully, these aren’t mere metaphors, Father; for metaphors can’t save us, only inspire us. You really are this involved in our lives, and your really are this merciful and mighty.

     Indeed, the coming of Jesus puts all nations on notice: There is only one true King, and he is Jesus. And the coming of Jesus puts us—your people, face down in adoring love. Over the next several weeks, show us, yet again, how Jesus is a most wonderful and grace-full Savior—Immanuel, the God who is very much with us and totally for us. So very Amen we pray, with Advent longings, in Jesus’ matchless and merciful name.

New Advent links for Christian Resource Institute (CRIVoice)

November 29, 2015

I’m sure I’ve posted DOZENS of links over the years to the great resources at Christian Resource Institute / CRIVoice

It appeares they’ve changed their website domain, and old links will probably not work.

Here’s their new website address:

Here are some of their great Advent links:

Overview: The Season of Advent

A table of Daily Scripture Readings for Advent 2015

Jesse Tree links & Resources

A list of traditional Songs for Advent

All About the Advent Wreath

Responsive Readings for Advent

“Chrismon” ornament patterns

Advent – Make Time to Prepare a Place

November 29, 2015

This morning, a perfect song for Advent came up in my worship playlist:  Prepare a Place, written by Christine Dente and Michael W. Smith.  It’s from a 2004 Christmas compilation by various artists called Gloria.

The lyrics are an exhortation for us to intentionally enter into this season of waiting and prepare our hearts anew for Christ’s coming:

Prepare A Place

Prepare a place, while you’re waiting.
Prepare a place for the coming One.
Prepare a place and be patient.
While you wait for the coming One.

Wait for the coming One!
While you wait for the coming One!

Prepare your heart, while you’re waiting.
Prepare your heart for the coming One.
Set time aside and be quiet.
While you wait for the coming One.

– written by Michael W. Smith and Christine Dente, from the 2004 album “Gloria”


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