Welcome to Advent

This is the first week of Advent.
As I hope you can tell, when it comes to life around the church, things are a little different.

In worship, we wear robes, and the color blue is present.
The robes point us to reverence and respect. The blue represents royalty and signals our anticipation because Advent is a season of expectation and waiting.

In our sanctuary, and maybe even in your home, there is an Advent Wreath.
The candles of the wreath represent different things in different congregations, but for us at OBC, this year, they point to the HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE that builds toward the white Christ candle we light on Christmas Eve.

I also hope the rhythms of this devotional and the practices of worship feel a little different than everything else in our lives.

Outside the church are Christmas ornaments, Christmas trees, and decorations of all kinds. But inside is a Chrismon tree, filled with Chrismons, or Christ monograms.
Outside the church are the Christmas songs of the season that we all love, but as the faithful, we sing about waiting for Jesus through Advent Hymns.
Outside of our faithful practices, there are Santas, snowmen, and nativity, many of which will come down on December 26th. But in the church and in our lives of faith, on December 25th, the story is only just beginning.

So as Christians during Advent, things should be a little different because we wait patiently and expectantly for a savior, not just a Santa.
We take directions from the prophets who point us not just to Jesus who came, but to Jesus, who will come again.
And we see that there is a great distance between what is and what will be, and we long to fill that distance, not with anxiety, anger, disappointment, or frustration, but we fill the chasm between what is and what will be with the practices and virtues that point us to God in hope through faith.

So today, in case you haven’t been invited, this is an invitation to Advent.
May these devotionals point you to faith with each day of waiting.
And may our church’s journey be one we take together with great anticipation and expectation.

I hope you will find this project a space for your faith to grow.
And I hope these devotionals will point you to our God.

Welcome to the Advent Devotional Project.
We are all in this together.
The good news is, God journeys with us.

May we, this Advent Season, be filled with the hope, peace, joy, and love of faith.