Archives For Advent

The angels had watched as Adam and Eve defied God and as centuries of humans repeated their rebellion. All the while, God sat patiently by. Why wasn’t he punishing them? What did he mean by the prophecies of a child? Then, one night, it became clear.  


Seeing Shepherds  hr 1 copy

Seeing Shepherds

copyright Daniel Bonnell, 2010, used with permission, 


Luke, the physician-historian, tells the story like this Continue Reading…

I didn’t grow up with Advent–except for one Christmas when mom made a wreath. I would half listen as dad read from the book of Isaiah or Matthew, mesmerized by the cadence of his voice and the flickering flames.

Then, for years, I forgot about Advent. I’d speed through each December–from one christmas party to the next, from one overpacked mall to another. Despite the glittering lights and glasses of eggnog, Christmas left me drained. That’s when I began to appreciate the gift of Advent.

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Advent invites us to reflect (rather than rush) our way through the Christmas season. But more than that, Advent helps us grasp our place in God’s story, to sense in our gut the divine timeline on which we live. During Advent, we reach back to a perfect world gone wrong and the God who descended into its chaos. With the other hand, we reach forward to a King who is returning to set everything right.

This Advent I’ve put together a series of FREE daily meditations for the mind, heart, and imagination. Each meditation includes a scripture text, work of art, and prompt for reflection. The meditations begin on December 1st and will run through the week after Christmas. See the sample meditation below Continue Reading…

Yesterday, two police men were assassinated in New York due to racial tension, ISIS continued to bleed its violence across Syria, and nearly 21 million people lived trafficked as sex slaves.


Right about now, I need to be reminded that God hasn’t forgotten Revelation 21:4—his promise to remove death and sadness and pain. I need proof that God is on the move, which means that I need Christmas.



Photo courtesy of Chris Vasquez via


About 2,000 years ago, two pregnant women embraced—a virgin teenager named Mary and her post-menopausal relative, Elizabeth. Two miraculous pregnancies. One God in utero. 

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A Long Time Coming

smgianotti  —  December 18, 2014

Rsz 1rsz 27342 shiny presentPhoto courtesy of Jason Watson via

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son…” Luke 1:13 

The smell of yeast met Zechariah at the door. Elizabeth’s back was still turned, her wrinkled hands kneading and stretching the dough. As she stopped to push a strand of gray hair behind her ear, Zechariah’s heart skipped a beat.

God had heard all those years of prayer—the nights when Zechariah had begged God for a child and Elizabeth had wept herself to sleep, the nights they had prayed together while he had stroked her dark hair. When the townspeople began to say that God was punishing them, Zechariah and Elizabeth had kept praying. They prayed for years. Then, when her flow stopped, so did their prayers.

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