Advent & Lenten Devotions

Written by lay persons and ministers of the church, theses devotions are intended to represent River Road Church, her members, and the tagline “thoughtful faith.”

A new devotion is published on a daily basis during Advent, Christmastide, and Lent and remain available from previous seasons.  The most recent devotion is given in its entirety at the top of the listing below, and excerpts of older posts follow underneath.

We encourage you to bookmark this page and visit each day for a new devotion, subscribe to the devotions by email, or subscribe in an RSS reader .

Please read the introduction to the 2015 Lent Devotions.

2016 Advent Devotions

Behold!: Cultivating Attentiveness in the Season of Advent
by Pamela C. Hawkins

UR_1062_Behold!Behold is an old-fashioned word we rarely hear these days. It’s not in most modern translations of the Bible.

Yet Pamela Hawkins says this word softens the edges of her heart. “I cannot say this word without moving, without extending and lifting a hand, palm open, toward the object of my attention,” she remarks.

Enter Advent this year with an attitude of curious expectancy and trustful anticipation. Linger for a while and pay close attention to the meaning of the season as you focus on a single word each week, pray the beautiful prayers and hymn texts, and try various forms of prayer.

You can follow all the spiritual practices Hawkins suggests or choose the ones that most capture your attention. The spiritual practices include

  • reflection
  • silence
  • prayer
  • reading scripture
  • reading or singing of hymn texts
  • Christian service and action

You will learn how to use the following prayer methods:

  • Praying with Images
  • Silent Prayer
  • Prayer Beads
  • Compline (Night Prayer)

Behold the Word with new eyes, new ears, a new heart, and a sense of new possibilities. Let Pam Hawkins encourage and help you behold the “news of great joy,” Christ the Lord, who is coming to make all things new!

Why do we celebrate Christmas? Why was Jesus born? What does Jesus’ birth have to do with my life? Embodied Light invites you to ponder our Creator’s daring adventure of becoming human and coming to earth to live among us.

During this four-week study, you will explore the meaning of incarnation—the miracle of our Creator choosing to become human and live among us. The Incarnation also says something to us about our own lives, about what being human means. Using scripture, prayer, and daily reflections, Embodied Light leads you to think about how to follow the fully human, fully divine Jesus with your whole self—mind, spirit, and body.

These books are available on November 27 in the Upper Commons, Lower Commons, Narthex, and Sunday School classrooms for families and individuals to take home to prepare their hearts for the season of Advent. Additionally, you can revisit the church’s devotions from previous years here.