By Pastor Tracey Leslie
Psalm 80 & John 1:1-5, 14-18
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:5
Christmas Eve has arrived and what a strange holiday season this has been. As I write this devotional in mid-November, I am still uncertain what Christmas Eve worship will look like: in-person, online, small group worship spread across the day and into the evening? Much is uncertain in our lives and in our world right now. Yet, we can affirm with confidence that the coming of the Christ Child has delivered us from death and darkness and brought us into the presence of the one who is the Light of the World.
By Savannah Jewell
They say that at some point, your parents picked you up, set you down, and never picked you back up again. While that seems like a fatalistic outlook on growing up, it reminds me of times when my dad would pick me up…
By Morris DuBose
At this exact moment, I feel lost. The full weight of my fragility is upon me more often than not these days. This year has been long. And despite the glimmers of Hope that remain, I find myself more tired than I've been in my life. Our holidays this year are unlikely to resemble any holiday we've experienced in our lifetime. For some of us the ideological gulfs between us and our friends and family will make this a different Christmas season. For others the reality of enduring a disaster level pandemic will reshape our Advent.
By Rev. Britt Leslie
2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Luke 1:47-55; Rom 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38
The scripture passages (2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Luke 1:47-55; Rom 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38) for this final week in Advent are interesting in that they reveal God’s plan for the coming of Christ to the world. This is a plan which in the long view spans 1000 years! This is from the time of King David, approximately 1000 B.C.E., to the time of Christ, approximately 4 C.E. That is quite impressive to me. I can barely plan what to do for lunch tomorrow! (Hint: leftovers.)
By Mary Jo Risk
This has been a year like no other in recent history! How would you summarize the news of this year? Here are some words to describe it: Covid pandemic and thousands of lives lost. Jobs lost. People homeless and food deprived. Schools turned to e-learning. Mandatory wearing of masks. People working at home. Family tensions. Covid patients dying. Front line worker burnout. Shortages of protective equipment, ventilators, hospital beds, even toilet paper. Loss of HOPE, some turning to addictions or suicide. Promises of vaccine, but none in sight. Racial tensions. Where is God in all of this?
By Dinah Dalder
How could hope come from one of the saddest times of my life? I have tears in my eyes as I recount details of our Christmas from almost 40 years ago. The story begins with the phone waking us up on December 21 with my mother calmly telling us that dad had collapsed at home and died in the night. She had waited until morning to call since she knew we would have a long drive home and we needed to get a good night’s sleep! What? How could this have happened? Dad was only 59 years old and he wasn’t sick! Who was with my mom who had been up all night as dad was rushed to the hospital and died in surgery?
By Pastor Suzanne Clemenz
Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11; Psalm 126; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1: 6-8, 19-28
I am one of those folks who sticks it out with social media – in my case, Facebook – because it allows me to stay connected with friends and family and indulge in cute cat memes and mindless humor. This year Facebook has also been a place for the collective processing and lamenting of all the bad news of 2020. One of my favorite new meme categories is the “If 2020 was a [fill in the blank]” meme. For example, if 2020 was an ice-cream truck, it would be delivering liver and onions. My favorite meme in this category popped up just this week: If 2020 was a playground slide, it would be fashioned like a metal cheese grater. You can picture the horror, right? The sharing of these memes between friends reminds us that we are not alone. It has been a rough year for all of us.
By George Morgan
My first 22 Christmases produced no real memories with one exception. When I was six or seven I was selected (appointed) to appear in a play of the Christmas story according to Luke. My role was as the narrator of the story. "In the same country there were shepherds abiding in fields tending their flocks by night...” I have two memories of that experience 75 years ago. Number one, of Luke's words (mostly verbatim) and number two, the abject terror I felt in reciting them to an audience.
By Isabel Danz
I love sending and receiving cards. If you have ever sent me one, I have it saved in a special box. They are in the same box that I used at my wedding to collect cards. It may sound odd or even hoarder like behavior, but cards bring me joy! I mention this because I take Christmas card shopping very seriously! Three years ago, I had an unusually hard time finding just the right card. I wanted a card that would be a gift to my Christian and non-Christian friends. The message was important to me, and after looking in a few stores and reading more cards than I wanted to, they all started blending together. I was at my last store, and I left empty-handed.
Trinity Advent Devotional
Welcome to Advent, 2020, a season like no other. These readings, throughout the Advent season, have all been written by staff and members of Trinity. We hope you’ll enjoy the opportunity to get to know one another better through these prayers, devotions and stories. Even in this challenging time, we celebrate this opportunity to grow in love and service through our relationships with God and with one another.