Jesus Is Coming – What Do We Expect? The Entire Series.

This year’s Advent series at Godspace has been the richest and most prolific ever. And it isn’t over yet. Tomorrow I will post the reflections for this week’s synchroblog Jesus Came Did You Get What You Expected?

However I want to take this opportunity to thank all who submitted posts as well as those who have followed faithfully what we have written. Now that Christmas is over some of you may have more time for reflection and like to look back over the entire series. may you enjoy a God blessed Christmas season and you read and savour what God is saying.

Jesus Is Returning…Today by Jeremy Myers

The Night Before by Joel Boehner

The True Light Is Coming Into the World – by David Perry

The Wait is Over – Advent Reflection by Dave Timmer

Have We Lost Jesus at Christmas? by James Prescott.

Virgin Mary &The Bible’s Answer to Human Trafficking by Rev. Rajkumar Boaz Johnson

Come Spirit Of Advent – A Prayer of Hope and Expectation by Sally Coleman

Remember Our Story by Ellen Haroutunian

May Salvation and Righteousness Sprout Up Together

A Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Parousia: Perchance to Dream #1 by Melanie Clark Pullen

Parousia: Perchance to Dream #2 by Melanie Clark Pullen

Getting Ready for the Baby by John Leech

Expecting the Unexpected by Liz Dyer

Jesus Is Coming What Do I Want To Be Open To? by Kathy Escobar

Expecting Something That Matters by Sarah Styles Bessey

Simplify and Celebrate – What Makes for a Better Christmas or a Better World?

You Can Smuggle God into the World This Christmas – Edith Yoder

A Prayer for the Third Sunday of Advent 2011

Jesus is Coming – I Expect More Time by Ed Cyzewski

The Best of Gifts For Christmas by Steve Wickham

Jesus Is Coming – Did You Hear the News by Paula Mitchell

A Prayer for the Second Sunday of Advent 2011

Advent As A Mirror of Possibility and Expectation – Dave Perry

What Are We Waiting For – Reflections on the Second Sunday of Advent by Dave Hens

Expect the Unexpected by Tracy Dickerson

More Resources for Advent 2011

Jesus Is Coming Will I Get What I Desire? by Dave Wainscott

First Monday of Advent – Advent Re-imagining Everything by Ron Cole

The God Who Would Be Friend – Theresa Froehlich

Advent in Two Minutes – An Introduction to the Season

Advent is Near – There’s A New World Coming

Jesus Is Coming – What Do We Expect?

In spite of the fact that Advent was four full weeks this year, I still ran out of time to post all the Advent reflections that were submitted either to me or to the Advent synchroblog which launched this series. Here are some other reflections you may like to dig into.


Liz VerHage at Living Theology

Glenn Hager – Antithetical Advent

Tammy Carter at Blessing The Beloved – His Gift … the way of escape!

Carol Kuniholm at Words Half Heard – What I’m Waiting For

Mihee Kim-Kort – Advent Expectations: Keep Awake

Wendy McCaig – We’re Expecting A Baby

John Reid at Blog One Another – Undiscovered Advent: The Second Coming of Christ


Advent As A Mirror of Possibility and Expectation – Dave Perry

This post was provided by David Perry and was first posted on visual theology as Advent As A Mirror of Possibility and Expectation. If you would like a sneak preview of some of the other upcoming posts check out the links on the Advent synchroblog site:

Advent synchroblog link list part 1 

Advent Synchroblog second link list 


Mirror of possibility and expectation

Mirror of possibility and expectation - photo by Dave Perrry

Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror outside the Nottingham Playhouse Theatre offers a strikingly attention-grabbing perspective on what is an otherwise unremarkable and fairly mundane space. It is as though the artist has designed the mirror to take this straightforward reality and imaginatively pour out its essence across the polished surface in a completely alternative representation of the context in which the viewer stands.

This perception-shifting piece of highly polished stainless steel reminds me of the mirror-like qualities of the texts, truths and promises which shape our experience of Advent. These take contexts which appear to be numbingly familiar, dispiritingly hopeless or unchangingly life-sapping and transforms our perception of them on the sparkling surface of possibility and expectation which God inspires within us and amongst us.

Advent challenges us to hold up this mirror of alternative realties and to feel the surge of transformational energy which flows when we see life from God’s perspective. Like the reflection in my image of Anish Kapoor’s sky mirror, the divine viewpoint revealed through Advent is anything but dull or monochromatic; it is colourful, vivid and stunning to behold, full of possibility and expectation. Even in the darkness. Then it is as though the mirrors gathers in all the available light and intensifies it into a freshly meaningful picture of the most brilliant colours and liquid shapes.

In today’s edition of The Guardian the renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz writes of the adventurous expectation which is essential to her creativity as a photographer. Needing to fill herself up again with all that she cared about she set off on a photographic pilgrimage and discovered renewed inspiration and reinvigorated her way of seeing.

In Christian Spirituality Advent serves a similar purpose. We journey to fill ourselves up with all that God cares about, and in so doing find ourselves brought back to the essence of our humanity. Advent is a mirror of possibility and expectation which liberates our seeing and inspires our discipleship afresh.

Through the sheer brilliance of God’s pure primary colours of grace our monochrome world becomes vivid with hope.

jesus Is Coming – What Do We Expect?

virgin mary from

African Virgin Mary with child from

A few days ago I invited you to join us for Advent beginning with a synchroblog November 23rd and moving through Advent with daily reflections drawn both from these and other contributions. Here are the first of those links which will be reposted on this blog together with other contributions throughout the Advent season. Enjoy!

Jesus Is Near How Do We Draw Close – Posts for the 3rd Week of Advent

It is the beginning of the fourth week of Advent and many of us have shifted our focus from Advent to Christmas. Tomorrow I will publish Christmas prayers for the coming week or you may like to check out this prayer from last year.  However those who are still focused on this time of waiting and anticipation may be interested in these reflections from the third week of Advent.

Third Sunday of Advent – Advent Prayers by Christine SIne

Third Monday of Advent – John Van de Laar – The miracle of the mundane

Dave Perry – Barbed and Barbarous

Third Tuesday of Advent – Ryan Marsh – Pain killers and Hope Killers

Idelette McVicker- Joy in the glorious, the ordinary, and the dry

Third Wednesday of Advent –  Ed Cyzewski – The Search for a Meaningful Christmas, Moving Beyond Guilt and Sentiment 

Jude Tiersma Watson – Christmas Joy Voices from the Fuller Community

Third Thursday of Advent – Michelle Wade – Love Joy Peace and Hope

– Jamie Arpin Ricci – An Advent Reflection

Third Friday of Advent – Julie Clawson – Finding Jesus

Third Saturday of Advent – Tracy Dickerson – Along the Way

Fourth Sunday of Advent – Reflection on the Last Week of Advent – Christine Sine

And for those of you who have missed the first couple of weeks of reflections

Posts from the second week of Advent

Second Sunday of Advent: Immanuel God is With Us – Chester Cathedral

O Come O Come Emmanuel – Reflection by John Leech

Second Monday of Advent: Jesus Is Near – by Paula Mitchell

Pat Boone Reads Little Star by Anthony DeStefano

Second Tuesday of Advent: Waiting by Kimberlee Conway Ireton

Shawn Small – The Stone Child

Second Wednesday of Advent: Kristin Tennant – And I Thought My Sofa Was Advent Headquarters

Thomas Grosh – An Advent-ture

Second Thursday of Advent: Liz Dyer – The Gate of Heaven Is Everywhere

Thomas Turner – Let the Season Work on Your Hearts

Second Friday of Advent:  James Prescott – Know The Reality

Tom Sine – Who Is This Jesus That is Close and What is the Kingdom that He Brings

Second Saturday of Advent: Barb Buckham – The Flashmob Advent

And for those that missed last week’s posts

Posts from the First Week of Advent

Sunday: William Kurelek Nativity

Monday: Stan Thornburg – Advent in the Manner of Friends

Monday: Live in Expectation – Tara Malouf

Tuesday: Steve Wickham – Approaching Vanishing Point of Drawing Near

Wednesday: Advent by Phil Cunningham

Thursday: Dave Bayne – Attentive to God’s nearness

Thursday: Jeff Borden – Preparing for Jesus through Remembering, Longing and Preparing

Friday: Kathy Escobar – Making Room for the Unexpected

Friday: Melanie Clark Pullen – Jesus Is Near How Do We Draw Close

Saturday: The End of the First Week of Advent and I Need to Draw Close – Christine Sine


Prayers for the Third Sunday of Advent – Draw Close to the Love of God

Aboriginal Christmas (source unknown)

Draw Close to the Love of God

Christmas is coming fast and the frenzy is building.  For many there is not time to rest or take time in the presence of God.  And I must confess that for me too it has been a very busy season as we head to Australia tomorrow and I have been preparing posts for the upcoming week.  However I make sure that I take at least a few minutes each morning to focus on the coming of Christ and all that his Advent means to me and to our world.

I thought that you might enjoy the prayers that I have been writing as a result of that.  I have been posting them each morning on the facebook page for Light for the Journey.  Let me know which you like the best.

God draw us close as we await the Advent of your Son
Into the embracing arms of a mother
Into the compassionate care of a father
God draw us close
Into your loving omnipotent presence
You who never tire of coming into our world draw us close
As we await the Advent of your Son


Come Lord Jesus Come
You who are the child who is love
You who are the child who gives life
You who are the child in whom all things find completion

Come Lord Jesus Come,
Lead us to the fullness of life
Where peace and righteousness kiss
Where truth and faithfulness embrace


God who is justice
God who is righteous
God who is compassion
Keep us in your unfailing love


The advent of our Lord is near
Bringing light and life and love into our world
Let us draw close rejoicing in the salvation of God
Let us be bearers of God’s light
Proclaimers of God’s love
Bringers of God’s life to people everywhere


Love is the heartbeat of God listen to the rhythm
Joy is its gift, catch the rhythm
Peace is its result, Live the rhythm
Be drawn into the kingdom of God


We sing for joy tonight and rest secure in God’s promises
The ruler of all worlds, the shepherd of creation
Jesus Christ has come into the world and has given us new life


Lord whose light shines in the darkness, Have mercy upon us,
Christ whose birth gives hope to all creation Have mercy upon us,
Lord whose advent brings us joy and love Grant us peace this night


Light shines in the darkness
A flame that brightens every day
Leading us towards the birth of Christ
Guiding us to the one who is the light of the world


Light of the world draw near
Shine on us with your guiding presence
Shine in us with your truth and forgiveness
Shine through us mercy and love
Light of the world draw near


On this Advent night come close O God
Draw us into your embrace
Open our hearts to welcome you
Come close O God, draw near
Fill the emptiness within
Let your love overflow in us, through us, beyond us


Draw close O God, You who come in human form
Draw close and teach us the ways of peace
Draw close, come once more into our world
Come once more into our lives
Come once more and make us whole

Second Friday of Advent – Know the Reality by James Prescott

This afternoon’s post is by James Prescott.   James lives in Sutton, near London in the UK. He is part of Vineyard Church Sutton, a community trying to explore what church looks like in a post-modern context. His interests include writing, reading, films, politics, sport & anything made by Apple. He’s currently working on a book on the Sabbath & God’s rhythms for our lives, and his writing can be found



The Annunciation in Townsville: by Jan Hynes

Advent: Know the reality, know Jesus more deeply

So Advent is here already. Time always seems to pass so quickly, it almost seems too soon for it. But yet again we have come round to the Advent season, a preparation for Christmas.

In the secular consumer world we live in, this means several things. It means shopping, turkey, trees, decorations, wrapping paper, presents, cards, time with family, holidays, parties, drinking and getting off work. All to celebrate……

…what, exactly?

What’s the reason for all this celebrating? I mean look again at those things people do and many of us participate in. It could near enough be any party for any celebration, pretty much. None of those things mark out this time of year as different, and those things that we only have at Advent/Christmas, like trees and turkey, are more traditions than any reason to celebrate.

I mean, if that’s all it’s about why not just call it ‘Winter Festival’? You might as well do. You see there’s a reason for all these celebrations. Advent and Christmas, and their true message, do give us a reason to celebrate. I believe the more we understand the true nature of the story and understand what it really means for God to be with us at Christmas, the more genuine reason we have to celebrate. The more we understand what this really meant at the time, and means now, the easier it becomes to draw close to Jesus, and to know Him in a much deeper way – and as we do that, we have a real reason to celebrate.

Advent and Christmas is all about the coming of God, God making Himself present amongst us and taking human form, becoming incarnate. It’s the act of God being willing to come to us to save us. But even that idea can become romanticized.

We have built up this idea of the Christmas story which kind of waters it down. Donkeys, cattle, stable, all warm and fuzzy. Fine, there might be some reality on some level in those stories.

But dig a little deeper, and you understand more.

The story of the birth of Jesus is a story of an unmarried – though engaged – teenage girl who was pregnant, scandalous at the time in any context. It’s the story of a man who accepted her hand in marriage despite the scandal it would cause and damage it would do to his whole family’s reputation and potentially income for a long time to come. And the story of a baby born either in a cave or in a dingy dark room hidden away, with animals for company, and laid in a food trough.

Not exactly the romantic story of Christmas we hear all the time.

But it’s this that brings Jesus closer to us all – and makes Christmas worth celebrating.

This story tells us that Jesus is not about just blessing those who get it right all the time. He’s not just about those who are favoured in the world’s eyes. He’s about the poor, the marginalised, the oppressed – serving, blessing, giving, loving and accepting all people for who they are, where they are, how they are. Through the story of His coming He connects with us in this. He is empathising with the reality that life isn’t easy, that following God isn’t easy and involves tough choices, and that far from being alone in those tough choices, He is right there with us, close to us, near to us.

By laying our lives down, by surrendering to God and putting Him first – as Mary & Joseph did – we can open ourselves up to see more of God this Advent/Christmas season.

Through recognising that through the story of His birth Jesus can relate to us in our tough choices, in the struggles, in the times we feel alone and rejected by the world, we draw closer to God as we celebrate the time He came to us and immersed Himself totally in our human experience, and chose to experience life at it’s most raw and difficult.

We can truly have a reason to celebrate the coming of a Christ who even in His birth is showing that He is one with us, can empathise with us no matter what our circumstance, and never abandons us.

Advent – A Journey

As you can imagine this is not the only synchroblog going on his Advent season and I thought that you might be interested in some of the great posts that have been contributed for the series Advent – A Journey

First Thursday of Advent – Attentive to God’s Nearness by David Bayne

This morning’s post for the series Jesus is Near How do We Draw Close comes from David Bayne.  David is from Southern California, but is now blogging at Wheresdavebane from Buenos Aires,Argentina where he lives and serves with Word Made Flesh. WMF Argentina is a community called to serve and discover Jesus among vulnerable children and young adults living in poverty, many of who live and/or work on the streets of Buenos Aires.

Advent – Attentive to God’s Nearness

There is something about Advent that sparks my attentiveness. For me it is a season of refreshment and refocus. Especially in what can be a super busy time of year, I desire to make space to listen, space to be still, and space to be nourished in this season of Advent.

In her book The Liturgical Year, Joan Chittister says of Advent, “… the [liturgical] year opens with Advent, the season that teaches us to wait for what is beyond the obvious. It trains us to see what is behind the apparent. Advent makes us look for God in all those places we have, until now, ignored.” She goes on to say that Advent hones our insights and reminds us what we are waiting for. This reminds me to take time this Advent to look beyond the obvious places and pay attention to the places where God is near.

This past year the posture and practices of attentiveness offered in Ignatian spirituality have been especially significant in my life. So, it seems appropriate to carry these practices through the Advent season. Specifically, I intend to wait and pay attention to the themes of Advent using the practice of examen. The examen, based on the spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius, helps us recognize the voice and movement of God by recognizing the consolations and desolations of our lives, both the beautiful and the broken. Examen helps us look beyond the obvious and hones our attentiveness.

As I pay attention to the Advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love each week of Advent, I plan to reflect on the following questions of examen:

– Where have I seen or experienced hope (peace, joy, love) today/this week?

– Where have I not seen or experienced hope (peace, joy, love) today/this week?

As I enter this season of Advent, I desire to be more attentive to God’s nearness. I desire to draw close to God and God’s people in the recognizing the hope, peace, joy, and love in the present.

First Thursday of Advent – Drawing Close to Jesus through remembering, longing and preparing – Jeff Borden

This morning’s post for the series Jesus is Near How do We Draw Close? comes from Jeff Borden an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church of North America. He hasbeen blogging and sharing my meditations since November of 2002 at The name “icrucified” is derived from Galatians 2:20 and helps me to remember that “it is no longer I that live, but it is Christ who lives within me.”he and his wife make their home in the great Pacific Northwest having recently moved from Western, NY and hail from Olympia, WA.

Advent: Drawing closer to Jesus through remembering, longing, and preparing… with hope “looking forward.”

Remembering, longing, and pondering from beginning to end. God created the heavens and the earth and it was good. And God created human beings, man and woman, then He blessed them and said:

“Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground…” Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! (Genesis 1:27-31)

It was good. It was right. It was perfect… God and man walking together in perfect unity, and it was very good. The tragedy is that we (mankind) weren’t satisfied with God’s very good. In our effort to improve His Creation (Genesis 3) we created a “fail” of epic proportion. While our nature and soul have been created with Divine and Eternal DNA (Genesis 1:27 and Ecclesiastes 3:11), we have been doomed to disease, deterioration, destruction, and death because of our disobedience and rebellion against God, our Creator-Sustainer. We have struggled…groaning laboriously for the day of reconciliation since we became outcasts and enemies of God. And so, we long for Eden…we long for true reconciliation; we long for the ultimate and eternal City of God, the New Jerusalem where God will live with and alongside man as Friend, Father, Savior, King, Creator, and Sustainer (Revelation 21:1-8). This is the hope looking forward.


“It is while waiting for the coming of the reign of God, Advent after Advent, that we come to realize that its coming depends on us. What we do will either hasten or slow, sharpen or dim our own commitment to do our part to bring it.” Joan Chittister; The Liturgical Year.

Malachi 3:1-4 “Prepare the way… He comes to purify and refine…so they (we) may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.”

I consider how faithful I am to prepare the way for my Lord Jesus. I think, too often, we (generally) are lax, complacent, and downright lazy in our preparations. Where do we prepare…at some distant location in the future? When do we prepare; hastily, at the last minute…out of desperation? Israel had (at the time of the prophet Malachi) 400 plus years to prepare…and they still weren’t ready. Israel (at the time of John the Baptist) had several years…maybe even a decade or so; and they still weren’t ready. Our nature indicates that our own preparation leaves much to be desired.

I think “prepare the way” is repentance and with repentance we are open to receive the Spirit of the Lord to purify and cleanse us so we might receive His holy things. He is the giver of Light and our Guide in the dark. It is our responsibility to hasten His coming in our own lives through preparation… How do I prepare? I prepare with and through an attitude of repentance with desire to walk upright in purity and righteousness. I want the sacrifice of my life to be a pleasing aroma in the nostrils of my God. Prepare. This word implies it is my responsibility to make the way ready for my King…He will cleanse, He will guide, He will purify… I am given the task to prepare.

Luke 1:67-79 “Prepare the way for the Lord… He comes to give light…He comes to guide us…”

Maranatha – “Come, Lord Jesus, Come.”

“Cleans us, O Lord, from our secret faults and mercifully absolve us from our presumptuous sins, that we may receive thy holy things with a pure mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” –The Leonine Sacramentary

First Wednesday of Advent – Phil Cunningham

This afternoon’s post for the blog series Jesus is Near How Do we draw close comes from Phil Cunningham who is 38 years old,  happily married to Amy aithhave 2 girls, Emma 8 and Abby 4. They have another girl due in January. He has worked with Youth WIth A Mission for the past 16 years and has been a follower of Jesus since he was a little boy. His family recently moved to Chula Vista, CA after spending the past 9 years on Seattle. My wife and I recently started a ministry called Steps Of Justice. This is also where we blog. You can find us at:


I grew up attending an Evangelical Free church in Winnipeg, Canada. I always liked Christmas time at church, mostly because there was lot’s of other things going on during the service and so the pastors message was always a little shorter. Looking back now I don’t remember very many things about church and Christmas, but I do remember those 5 Advent candles that were lit each week leading up to Christmas day. For some reason that stands out to me.

I don’t have many spiritual practices during this season, but the one that I do have began 4 years ago while reading Celtic Daily Prayer. Each night leading up to Christmas I light a white candle beside my bed and say a quick prayer to the Father. Its a simple prayer that is as follows.

“God of the watching ones, give us Your benediction.

God of the waiting ones, your good word for our souls.

God of the watching ones, the waiting ones, the slow and suffering ones,

Give us Your benediction, Your good word for our souls, that we might rest.

And of the angels in heaven, and of the child in the womb,

Give us Your benediction, Your good word for our souls, that we might rest and rise

In the kindness of Your company.”

I have prayed that prayer many times. It is something that I look forward to throughout the year and get excited about when the time to start draws close. I’m not sure why I love it so much. I think it is because its a way that I get to connect with the father each night before I go to sleep. It’s also because I love the words to the prayer. I love that God’s good word is for our souls and with them we rest and rise in the kindness of His company. There is no other company that I desire to be in that His. I also love this prayer because it is religious. It is something that I do each night and it puts some regular discipline in my life. My kids see me praying it, my wife sees me praying it and they know that it is the season of Advent and that Jesus birth is coming soon.

Advent is a special season for me, one that I look forward to throughout the year and am sad when it is over. Well, it is late, I am going to sign off and say my good night prayers to the Father and go to sleep. Good night all.