Advent is a time of waiting. It is a time to prepare for the coming of Christ. But waiting doesn’t have to be boring, and preparation doesn’t have to be a chore.

Both can be filled with joy. And so we wait, with the joy of looking back and remembering God’s good works in the world and in our lives. And we prepare, bubbling with the delight-filled anticipation of setting up the party for an honored guest.

In hope, in trust, in thanksgiving, in joy let us lay our hearts before God.

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There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

John 1:6-8

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I’d just moved into a new house. It was late, but I wanted to unpack – to make this lonely, strange place feel like home. A pop rattled the house, knocking out the power. The moonless sky wrapped the house in black velvet. I couldn’t find a flashlight or candle. Every creak put me on edge; I was paralyzed.

Finally, my cell phone rang, a blink of light piercing the darkness. Then I was okay. The smidge of light from my old-school flip phone wasn’t enough for me to find my toothbrush, but once I knew where it was, I could periodically open it to ease the ache of the inky gloom.

Light has a way of wiping away our fear. If the twinkle of a phone can bring hope on an anxious night, imagine the comfort and joy that comes with finding and proclaiming Jesus, the Light of Life, in a dark world. “Get ready,” John is saying, “The light’s been there all along, but you’re about to see it again for the first time.”

Shelli Latham

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Holy God, thank you that I do not have to stumble around in the darkness, because you sent the truest light, Jesus Christ, to show your children the way and to give hope for the life to come. I rejoice in your love and pray, that in moments of fear and confusion, I may trust that there is no time that you leave us alone in the darkness, but you are with me. Amen.

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“Turn around and believe that the good news that we are loved is better than we ever dared hope, and that to believe in that good news, to live out of it and toward it, to be in love with that good news, is of all glad things in this world the gladdest thing of all. Amen, and come Lord Jesus.”

Frederick Buechner

Shelli Latham

Shelli Latham is the pastor at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta, Georgia. She believes the church is a place youth should be seen AND heard, loves Bible stories about feisty women doing gutsy things, celebrates any excuse to fly a kite in worship, and prefers her yellow cupcakes without icing.

Advent Reflections: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Joseph Martin

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