First Advent Devotional


Luke 21:25-36

25 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” 

29 Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 

34 “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, 35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”



The day was dark, heavy grey clouds cloaked Charleston, the rain came down in steady streams. The wedding was meant to be outside on the lawn of a beautiful wedding venue overlooking the marsh; complete with the perfect sunset coloring the sky with colors of pink and orange. Instead, there was a greyish darkness and the plans had to change. So, we gathered together on the porch, sitting shoulder to shoulder, with the rain steadily falling down and we watched and celebrated two people joining their lives together. As I looked out over the water and watched as the rain drops made ripples, I listened to two people vow to love one another all the days of their life. I thought to myself, “This is holy, this is sacred, the light is pouring in and this is love.”

If we are not careful we will miss it, we will miss the mischievousness of the divine dancing around us here and now. Sitting on that porch, with the music of the rain, and the warmth of love filling the space I realized that Rev. Darwin was completely right when he said, “Advent is an invitation to living in time differently.” We were all invited to live into time differently at that wedding; we were invited to pay attention, to keep our hearts open to the movings of God, to look and to see that even in the darkness of a rainstorm God is present and doing incredible things.

Advent is a season of anticipation, a waiting period for the baby Savior to be born. Here we are at the beginning of that season of waiting and I hope and pray that you will live into time differently. That you will pay attention to the world all around you and you will look and see that God is present even as we wait.

Grace and Peace,

Margaret Fleming

Margaret is a seminary student at Columbia Theological Seminary and an inquirer for Ordained Ministry under the care of the Session of Second Presbyterian Church.