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December 3, 2023 @ 12:00 am

Advent Devotions: “Apocalyptic Advent: Embracing Hope in the Second Coming of Christ”

December 3, 2023 @ 12:00 am

We live in a world filled with anxiety, uncertainty and conflict. What word does Jesus have for us in this space? How can we adapt and plan for what is coming?

These are the questions that Teri McDowell Ott asks in her 2023 Advent devotional.

“We often treat Christmas as an end, as if all we are waiting for is the birth of Christ and the opening of presents on Christmas morning. After the living room is trashed, full of ripped wrapping paper, and all Santa’s cookies have mysteriously disappeared, we’ve successfully ‘done’ Christmas. But Christmas is a new hope, not an end. We celebrate Jesus’ first Advent with an eye toward his second and the way God is actively at work redeeming and renewing our world,” she writes.

This devotional will highlight and reflect upon apocalyptic passages of the Hebrew Bible, as well as passages in the New Testament that refer to the second coming of Christ. Some Christians use these texts as weapons, stoking fear of end-time judgment to convert people. This devotional highlights the ways people from marginalized communities turn to end-time prophecies for hope. These voices, along with biblical scholars who offer helpful historical and cultural context, will be this devotion’s focus.

When suffering looms large and we are overwhelmed by the problems of our world, what can we learn from texts that turn us to the future? What can these texts illuminate about the ways we can and should move through our current context? How can these texts prepare and inspire us for a new beginning come Christmas?

The devotional booklet is available for pick up beginning December 3 or available online via the weekly Realm posting.

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