Advent Devotional Features Diverse Covenant Voices of Past, Present

CHICAGO, IL (November 9, 2018) – “Bearing the Wait: An Advent Companion” is a devotional guide from the editors and writers of the Covenant’s magazine, available as a free download. We created this 24-day devotional to help the ECC community enter into a spirit of reflection and expectation as we look forward to celebrating our Savior’s birth.

This devotional was compiled from numerous and diverse voices who have shared their reflections in the Covenant Companion over the years.

There is the humor of Dana Bowman, who writes of leaving a store and walking past “the Dreaded Bell Ringer of Guilt.” She confesses, “I don’t like to share.” Against the backdrop of the war against Hitler in 1944, Donald Frisk warned the church not to succumb to another danger, writing, “All too passively we have permitted a noisy, hurrying commercialism to invade the sanctity of Christmas, and now we have a battle on our hands to keep the holy season as it should be kept.”

Soong Chan-Rah calls on the church to “reclaim lament,” and Krista Brumberg Stevens offers a melancholic hope in her poem “Oh, Small Child,” writing:

“Silence the angels heralding: pause the Wise Men:
calm King Herod: dim the stars: slow the world:
hold off the inevitable fate your mother fears:
to this one moment and listen to soft breaths
blowing out through noses and the small rustle
of an infant who will, if we allow it, change everything.”

Throughout, writers reflect on stories that include an accidental pilgrim in the Middle East, an off-key Christmas caroling trip to a nursing home, a Nativity scene atop a strip club, a Christmas Day soccer match between enemy soldiers on a WWI battlefield, and a campus police officer afraid of the dark.

Together, the collection gives proof to the words of Diana Trautwein: “We’re a mixed-up, crazy bunch here, Lord. And we truly don’t get it a lot of the time. But we deeply desire to get you. Through all the questions and all the wrestling, and all the sighing and all the wondering—we want you.”

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About the Author

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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