Spiritual Growth

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The Poetry of Advent

An Advent Companion to the “Devotions” of Mary Oliver

The Wednesdays of Advent & Christmas 

Dec 8, 15, 22, 29, and Jan 5 at 7:00-7:40 p.m.

This is a Zoom Gathering led by Pastor Kurt

“Be on guard…Be alert at all times… and to stand before the Child of Humanity.” + Jesus, from Luke 21:25-36 

The word “Advent” means coming or arrival. It’s the season of actively waiting and preparing for Jesus to be born, broadening our hearts and minds to welcome Jesus anew, and paying close attention to the ways Jesus is already coming into the world, God’s Word made flesh. 

The Christian year begins not with the lilies of Easter, or the poinsettias of Christmas, or the stirring winds of Pentecost, but rather with Advent—four weeks in the shadows of despair, conflict, sorrow, and hate. For it’s here, in the shadows, that the God of grace will arrive. Waiting, longing, and preparing for that arrival, we light candles of hope, peace, joy, and love. 

Poetry can help us as we wait. As Mary Oliver often emphasized, the best poems help us notice and feel things we might otherwise miss, both the depths of despair and the heights of hope. In this Advent devotional, we let scripture and Oliver’s poetry be our guides, together pointing us toward weekly practices that can help deepen and enrich our experience of the season—a perfect way to prepare for the hope, peace, joy, and love of Christmas day. 

So grab your favorite Bible and Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver (the poems can also be found online). Week by week, we’ll make our way to Bethlehem, attending with care to the lights and shadows as we go.  

From the SALT project. 

“TO PAY ATTENTION, THIS IS OUR ENDLESS AND PROPER WORK.” + Mary Oliver, “Yes! No!” (Devotions, p. 264)

Link to The Poetry of Advent with Mary Oliver

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89728207639

Topic: Wednesday Evening Prayer and Reflections on Faith 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Time: This is a recurring meeting

Meeting ID: 897 2820 7639

Spiritual Growth Web Sites

First Lutheran Church - Spiritual Devotion