A Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent
Open Your Bible
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of
darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of
this mortal life in which Your Son Jesus Christ came to visit
us in great humility; that in the last day, when He shall come
again in His glorious majesty to judge both the living and the
dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through Him who lives
and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
—The Book of Common Prayer
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light; The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.
—O Little Town of Bethlehem
Friends, it’s finally time. Welcome to Advent 2021! Today is the day when the months of dreaming, planning, and preparation give way to this sacred moment: hundreds of thousands of women around the world opening their Bibles together to anticipate and contemplate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
There’s a reason this season is so special to us. It’s the time of year when we slow down and prepare our hearts for the celebration to come. We turn down the volume on the noise around us and return our attention to the God who rescues us. We read the first promises of the Savior in the Old Testament and watch expectantly as they are fulfilled in the New. We remember the weight of our spiritual darkness and train our eyes to look for the Light.
This is our tenth Advent together as a community (can you believe it?!), and each one has come with its own circumstances, heartaches, and hopes. But the centerpiece of this season is always and only Jesus Christ. He is in the Scripture we’ll read and the prayers we’ll pray. We celebrate the joy of His birth with every carol we sing and every gift we wrap. Each twinkle light and snowfall and sleigh bell echoes the wonder of Immanuel, “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23).
This Advent reading plan we’re starting today will testify to our hearts once again that Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s promise to bring light to a dark world. We invite you to come back every day over the next five weeks as we read our Bibles together, preparing our hearts to celebrate Christmas Day with deeper joy and understanding to walk into the New Year with renewed hope in Jesus Christ. He alone is our everlasting light.
Written by Amanda Bible Williams