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WELCOME to the season of Advent — a celebration of hope as we prepare our hearts and minds for the miracle of God’s Love come to us. This year we have chosen the PHILLIPS SEMINARY 2018 ADVENT DEVOTIONAL to accompany us on our journey through Advent. It is a devotional companion filled with hope for everyone who is waiting: waiting for a solution … a diagnosis … a relationship … a breakthrough … a rescue.

Advent means arrival, and as we begin a new church year, we await the arrival of Jesus the Christ. For on a chaotic night in the little town of Bethlehem a miracle happened (at least Luke tells it that way!). Down the slope of a hill, in a cave carved out by the wind and rain — a place where animals took shelter in a storm — a Savior was born who would provide hope for the life of the world to come.

But let us not forget that Jesus didn’t arrive without a wait. While we may simply turn the page, moving effortlessly from the end of the Old Testament promises to the opening of the Gospel according to Matthew, it wasn’t quite that easy across the arc of history. Four hundred years of silence spanned the gap between the final prophecies received in Malachi and the birth of Christ.

As we struggle with our own sense of silence and strain to see God at work in the world around us, Advent is the perfect time to prepare ourselves for the arrival of that which we know as the Light of the World. For each day through the Advent journey, you will find scripture, meditations, and words of encouragement in these devotions. Please carve out a few moments each day to embrace the gift of Advent through reflection and prayer. As you do, there’s a good chance something new will be born in you!

There are printed copies available to you near the entrance to the sanctuary, or you may access the devotions online.