With many thanks to Fr. Paul Nesta of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, LaPorte, we are pleased to share a 2017 Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana Devotional for the season of Advent. The reflections, written by our own EDNIN clergy, will enhance your journey to the Nativity.
Please find the devotional, in it's entirety in the 3 links below on the left, or day-by-day (published two weeks at a time) to the right of those links. Fr. Paul's Introduction to the devotional, in full text, is also included below the links.
Enjoy and many Advent blessings!
ETHECIST David Gushee describes Christians as those who are caught waiting “in the time between the times.” We are those who are caught between the first Advent of Jesus, when he came as our Savior and Redeemer, and his Second Advent, when he will return as our Lord and King. Yet in the same way waiting for the celebration of Christmas is no idle task—far from it, as we all know—waiting for the second Advent of Christ is no idle task either.
As those waiting for God’s kingdom to come on earth, as it already is in heaven, we are called to incorporate a kingdom lifestyle in the present time. Even as it is impossible to prepare to celebrate Christmas without partaking in the celebration a bit as you go, it’s impossible to be watching and waiting for God’s coming kingdom without entering into the life of that kingdom in the present.
Christians exemplify watchfulness through a variety of spiritual disciplines, one of which is the disciple of listening, or reflection. Bishop Edward Salmon (ret. South Carolina) was fond of reminding people that no one learns through experience. Experience only codifies a particular action into a habit, whether good or bad. We only learn from an experience when we pause and reflect on the experience and our actions. For it is only in reflection that we come to reorder and redirect the bits of our life that have ceased to reflect life in the kingdom of God.
The purpose of this Advent Devotional is to create a place for you to pause, reflect, and reorder your life, that when our Lord returns, he “may find in us a mansion prepared for himself” (Collect for Advent IV, 1979 BCP, p. 212). The devotional is based on the Daily Eucharistic Readings from Lesser Feasts and Fasts (2006) together with the Revised Common Lectionary. The Scriptures assigned for each day are listed for your reflection and consideration.
I would be remiss if I did not point out what will become evident to you as you journey through this devotional: The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana is comprised of a remarkable group of clergy who evidence a deep sense of God’s Spirit and a compelling faithfulness to the work of the Gospel. I was personally enriched by each reflection and I count it an honor to serve God here with you as a co-laborer in Christ.
The Rev. Paul A. Nesta, Rector - St. Paul’s, La Porte