ADVENT DEVOTIONAL 2020
Read and/or listen to daily meditations written by members of the Seminary community. Scroll down to learn more about the various ways you can read the daily messages.
With thanks to our alums, who wrote this year's devotionals, and MDiv student Jon Mathieu, who provided the audio recordings.
Advent Resource Kit 2020
BIG BOOK OF ADVENT
The Seminary’s 2020 “Big Book of Advent Devotionals—Year 1” gives you a valuable resource for personal and corporate Spiritual formation during the Advent season. Each section includes multiple biblical passages from the daily lectionary, reflections based on those passages, and accompanying prayers based on each reflection.
OVERWHELMED BY JOY
In this sermon by the Rev. Rebecca S. Jones '11, she invites readers to listen to the message of Matthew 2:1-2 as though they are hearing the story for the first time. When we picture the wise men bearing gifts in our minds, the image likely is more informed by pageants and our own imaginations than the biblical account. DOWNLOAD THE SERMON
ANTICIPATION, EAGERNESS, AND EXCITEMENT
The Rev. Scott Dennis ’13 reflects on Advent and the anticipation, eagerness, and excitement this seasons brings. This meditation fits best in week four of Advent or in your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services. DOWNLOAD THE MEDITATION
CARRYING YOUR CREATOR
In this 10-minute talk from an Orthodox perspective, William F. Orr Professor of New Testament Dr. Edith M.Humphrey keys off Genesis 1-3; 22:18, and 1 Chronicles 16:8-36 to show how Mary’s joyful and profound hymn (known by Protestants as The Magnificat) is understood more fully by contrasting Mary’s “yes” to Eve’s rebellion; seeing the Incarnation as the beginning of the new creation; and seeing the parallel between David’s joyful procession with the Ark to Bethlehem and Mary’s carrying our Lord into that same city for our salvation. Listen to her podcast or read the written version of Dr. Humphrey’s talk, with the same title, on her blog.
LET IT BE WITH ME
Dr. Shan Overton, director of the Center for Writing and Learning Support, offers this original poem based on Luke 1:38. DOWNLOAD THE POEM
HANGING OF THE GREENS
Consider these child-friendly activities to involve the kids in your church in various hanging of the greens festivities. DOWNLOAD THESE IDEAS
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE SOLSTICE
The Rev. Dr. Steven Tuell, James A. Kelso Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament, writes about the winter solstice in this blog post, which appeared on The Bible Guy. We have been taught—and rightly—that God creates the universe out of nothing. It all begins with shapeless, formless water. But when God speaks God’s creative word—“God said, ‘Let there be light’”—God imposes order on that chaos. The implicit question in Genesis 1, then, is not, How did the world begin? but rather, Does the world make sense? God establishes order and meaning in place of disorder and meaninglessness. DOWNLOAD THE BLOG
The Miller Summer Youth Institute leadership offer this workbook, pairing passages from Luke with paintings by master artists, as a four-week study through Advent for your Sunday School program, Bible Study, private devotions, or just for fun!
THE BRIGHTEST STAR: CHILDREN’S SERMON
The Rev. Jeremy Collins ’14 shares this children’s sermon for use in your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day worship service.
ADVENT MUSIC FOR GUITAR
The SYI Guitar Hymnal is available for a wide range of guitar players and musical environments. The SYI Guitar Hymnal coordinates with the 1990 Presbyterian Hymnal. This resource presents as many as five versions of 33 different Advent/Christmas hymns and facilitates guitar accompaniment of congregational hymns in neo-traditional worship, in addition to blended or contemporary settings. Visit this music resource to see all that's available! This free resource is a service of the Seminary's Miller Summer Youth Institute. Have feedback about the Guitar Hymnal? Let us know: SYIMusic@pts.edu.
MUSIC SELECTIONS BY BORYS HEDE WASSAYLE QUIRE
Recorded at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Borys Hede Wassayle Quire provides a number of Christmas selections for your free use. Sign along, use a tune as a prelude, or play the songs in the background during a festive gathering. Selections include:
- Ding Dong, Merrily on High (G. R. Woodward)
- God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (Trad. English)
- Sans Day Carol (Trad. Cornish)
- Noel Nouvelet (Trad. French)
- Sussex Carol (Trad. English)
- Joseph lieber, Joseh mein (Trad. German)
- I Saw Three Ships (Trad. English)
For even more Advent resources, visit the Digital Downloads section of our website and scroll down to Advent.
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