During Advent, Christians prepare their hearts and spirits by contemplating the meaning and celebration of Christmas. They wonder at the significance of Christ’s birth in the world and what it means in their own lives.
The Reverend Michelle Wildridge, Chaplain at Paul’s Run, provides copies of the Lutheran Congregational Services’ Advent Devotional to residents. During Advent, she offers time to reflect in group discussions.
“Residents of any faith are welcome to join us. Those who are not Christian come with a curiosity to learn more. When we get together,
we discuss selected writings from the Old and New Testament. The Jewish residents find Psalms particularly comforting, as it’s
part of their Hebrew Scripture,” says Rev. Michelle.
Sister Carol, a resident at Paul’s Run, uses the Advent Devotional to read, reflect, and pray about her relationship to Jesus Christ. “I ponder how my relationship with Jesus has deepened and changed over the years,” she says. “I like to reflect upon the Devotional writings in Chapel services, and while seated alone in my apartment, with my Advent wreath candles lit.”
“When we are in the discussion group, I appreciate the hour of sharing reflections inspired by the Devotional. We discuss how we individually interpret, relate to, and find hope through specific writings,” asserts Sister Carol.
Sister Krysta, also a resident, uses the Devotional prayerfully to nurture her own spirit and relationship with Jesus. She encourages others to similarly contemplate His presence in modern life. “He has been here, and he is still here among us, offering love, hope and peace,” she says.
She adds, “I read and think about the writings in my room, with candles lit, while listening to Advent music playing on YouTube. I listen to others’ insights during Rev. Michelle’s weekly discussion group.”
Pastor Paulette Obrecht, volunteer for disaster response and member of the LCS Advisory Board contributes to the Devotional. “I feel like I am part of something bigger- a community of believers- a great cloud of witnesses-sharing our stories of how the Christ child enters our lives during Advent. As we prepare for God becoming one of us, I hope others gain that same sense of community from these devotions.”
Follow the Advent Devotional online here.