Presbyterians Today's Advent 2020 Devotional
Advent starts Nov. 29.
Let us light candles
Matthew 25 and the work of Advent
In his poem “I Will Light Candles This Christmas,” Howard Thurman, theologian and civil rights leader, talks about illuminating the world with "candles" flickering with the light of Christ — the light that dashes away sadness with joy, replaces fear with courage and banishes despair with hope.
This year has been one in need of light. It has been shrouded in the darkness of racial and political unrest, with a cloud of pandemic uncertainties hovering low. It has been an unprecedented year that has pushed, dragged, nudged and kicked us into speaking boldly and truthfully. It has dared us to step away from the comfort of doing things in the same old way and to try something new in our ministries. Presbyterians Today’s Advent devotional for 2020 is no exception.
This year’s devotional will be online only, www.pcusa.org/2020advent, allowing flexibility in bringing devotions that speak truth and peace to a world that changes rapidly each day. The theme will be that of lighting those candles in Thurman’s poem, challenging us to shine not only through the four weeks of Advent, but through the 12 days of Christmas and ending with the celebration of Epiphany.
Each week’s theme will be a stanza from Thurman’s poem, followed daily by a reading from Scripture, a short reflection and closing prayer. Throughout the season, readers are invited to submit their pictures of the candles being lit in their communities. These pictures will be posted on Presbyterians Today’s social media sites.
The world has been shrouded in Advent darkness for too long. But there is a light coming to us, one promised by God. It is a light that John’s Gospel says, “shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5). This Advent and Christmas let us light candles together.