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Advent Devotion Week 1

Cultivating Presence This Advent

This collection of Advent devotions and reflections comes from Portico Health Benefit Services.


Though deemed the “most wonderful time of the year,” this season can be hectic and overwhelming with additional worship services, countless holiday gatherings, and a range of emotions to navigate. Portico and Deacon Tammy Devine have designed a resource to help you alleviate some stressors and focus on what matters — so you can open your hearts to the coming light of Christ Jesus.

Our “Gift of Presence” activity includes weekly devotions and simple daily prompts crafted to help you re frame your mindset and be more fully present for the joys of this season.

Week 1

As a church organist, I rarely sang the verses to hymns. Now that I worship in the pew instead of on the organ bench, I have come to find deep meaning in the words. The texts are amazingly beautiful. We sometimes forget that singing is a way of praying.


This week, I invite you to light a candle as you pray or sing a verse of:

(ELW 252 Each Winter as the Year Grows Older)

Each winter as the year grows older, we each grow older too. The chill sets in a little colder; the verities we knew seem shaken and untrue.

When race and class cry out for treason, when sirens call for war, they over shout the voice of reason and scream till we ignore all we held dear before.

Yet I believe beyond believing, that life can spring from death; that growth can flower from our grieving; that we can catch our breath and turn transformed by faith.

So even as the sun is turning to journey to the north, the living flame, in secret burning, can kindle on the earth and bring God’s love to birth.

O child of ecstasy and sorrows, O prince of peace and pain, brighten today’s world by tomorrow’s, renew our lives again; Lord Jesus come and reign.

(William Gay)

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