O Come, Dawn of Hope
Advent Reflections 2019
By: Susanna M. Kawolics
This year as I write these Advent reflections, I am inspired by Marcia McFee, creator of the Worship Design Studio. She says, We Christians believe in “folly”—that there is peace, love, joy and hope in the midst of the good and difficult times. This makes us “odd”—according to those who proclaim the victory of decline and death all around. It is especially in this season of expectant hope that we can instead proclaim the awe-inspiring presence of God’s reign that continually makes all things new. (http://www.worshipdesignstudio.com) She goes on to say that we believe in hope in the midst of hopelessness, peace in the midst of conflict, joy in the midst of despair, and love in the midst of hate.
This Advent season, my hope is that these reflections, along with some weekly prayer practices, will help prepare our hearts to receive the one who comes to make all things new. We believe in Jesus as the precious child of God who embodies God’s hope, peace, joy and love for this world. This is a time that invites us to prepare our hearts for Jesus as we prayerfully come to a fuller understanding of who he is, and as such, come to a deeper understanding of God.
Because God is so much greater than our minds can even begin to comprehend, we can only know God through glimpses, through reflections. That is what these names for God and prayers are: reflections. They are inspired initially by the traditional “O Antiphons,” different names and images for God used during the last week of Advent, December 17th through 23rd. They have been part of the Christian tradition since the 7th or 8th century, and are proclaimed in the hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” I have included them in this booklet on their traditional days. The other images used are my creations inspired by scripture.
The Bible verses used have been chosen based on the weekly Revised Common Lectionary readings for Advent and Christmas, Year A. The reflections for the Sunday readings begin on the Monday before so that we will have the opportunity to reflect on these Bible passages before hearing them in worship. There is also a prayer to guide each day, and a suggested spiritual practice for each week.
By using the first person plural we, I imagine the community of people using this resource to be united in prayer. I would welcome any of your thoughts, comments, suggestions or reflections as you journey through this Advent season. Please leave and view comments on this website as you wish. I also have a facebook page which you may like to receive these reflections daily: AdventReflections
As we take time with this booklet during the season of Advent, may our reflections and prayer practices deepen our relationship with God so that we may more fully experience the celebration of the coming of Christ.
In Christ’s peace,
– – – – –
Scripture verses are quoted from The New Testament and Psalms, An Inclusive Version, copyright 1995 by Oxford University Press, NY.
The images of God are the author’s own responses to the scripture verses, except for the traditional “O Antiphons” from December 17 through December 23.
All prayerful reflections have been created by the author.
Self published©2019 Susanna M. Kawolics