Weekly Advent Readings (Week 1)

During this season of preparation, many of us spiritually long to make Christmas as meaningful as possible.  Yet sometimes our souls need encouragement in feeling God’s sacred invitation to be more intentional throughout our Advent journey.  Perhaps setting aside a couple of minutes each day to quietly reflect on what Christ’s Spirit is whispering to us could make the difference.

Here is your invitation to pause for one minute each day during Advent to read a verse from the Bible and a simple prayer.  These were originally compiled and written by Glen Stoudt in 2021 as an outreach from the church’s Spiritual Direction ministry and have been updated to include the Gospel stories of Jesus’ birth.

Beginning Sunday, December 3rd the first week focuses on the book of Isaiah, whose ancient prophesies have been read for generations as a foreshadowing of Jesus’ birth.  Each brief reading includes a sentence prayer.

Sunday, December 3 - Advent Day 1 (Isaiah 2:3)
Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.
God, inspire me to join the faithful this Advent season, to be nourished by your presence and wisdom.

Monday, December 4 - Advent Day 2 (Isaiah 7:14)
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son and shall name him Immanuel [God is with us].
Gracious Immanuel, help me trust that you are with me, showing me how to love others in your way.

Tuesday, December 5 - Advent Day 3 (Isaiah 11:2)
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and [reverence] of the Lord.
How will your Spirit rest on me today, Lord, encouraging me to live faithfully for others?

Wednesday, December 6 - Advent Day 4 (Isaiah 35:4)
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear!  Here is your God.  He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense.  He will come and save you.
Holy One, enfold my fears and anxieties with grace this season, so I might gift others with goodness.

Thursday, December 7 - Advent Day 5 (Isaiah 40:3)
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
When I feel like I’m lost in the wilderness, may your Spirit straighten my path toward Christmas’ peace.

Friday, December 8 - Advent Day 6 (Isaiah 61:1)
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted ...
Will I believe that, like Isaiah and Jesus, you want me to care for those hurting around me? 
Give me renewed confidence to say ‘yes’ to your gracious invitation, Lord.

Saturday, December 9 - Advent Day 7 (Isaiah 9:6)
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Wonderful Counselor, as I anticipate your Christmas promise,
show me ways I can share your peace joyfully with others.