The First Sunday of Advent is fast approaching, and some of the pastors in the Falls City area have once again prepared a series of daily devotional writings to guide us through this season of preparation and celebration. Below is the introduction and a note on the use of different translations that is included in the print copy of the devotional booklet. You are invited to pick up a print copy at St. Paul’s (or other congregations around the Falls City area), or to come back here to the website to read each day’s entry. Blessings to you during this season of preparation and celebration.
Welcome to the Falls City Area Advent/Christmas Devotional provided by the Falls City Area Ministerial Association. We are glad you have chosen to spend Advent and Christmas dwelling, dwelling with us dwelling in the Story of God dwelling with us.
Advent is the season in which we are given a chance to celebrate our joyously active hope, our hopeful certainty that Christ Jesus has come and will return to renew the world (Revelation 21:1-6, et al). Following last year, we will continue our Devotional through the season in which we celebrate God’s Incarnation (literally, being in-fleshed) in Christ our Lord through the Epiphany to the Wise-men concerning the Christ Child (The Season of Christmas goes from the evening of December 24th through January 6th).
Our flow is: Thursday through Saturday preparing for coming Sunday and Monday through Wednesday reflecting on the previous Sunday.
Often we engage this faith with too much of our brains (which is a good thing) and not enough of our heart or body. This year, rather than simply have words, and pictures to enjoy, the editors (after talking with several contributors) has found pages to color in any way you wish. You are invited, to take these pages and make them your own devotional in color.
May you let yourself live into the pure joy crayons, colored pencils, markers, and/or paint can bring as you join us in creating our Advent/Christmas Devotional!
A Translation Note:
Please be aware: those who prayerfully took the time to work on this devotional, your pastors and friends, come from a variety of backgrounds and use a variety of biblical translations in our own prayer life. Some of the translations you will be enjoying you know already. Some are used weekly at Sunday worship where you gather, or where others gather. Some are used for personal study and edification. Some are used, not because that translation is used regularly but because the author felt it a better turn of phrase for a particular verse. Their acronyms (short form) follow.
Sometimes we authors use a form of shorthand that is not familiar to everyone. There may often appear letters next to the verses, for example, the reading for Wednesday December 3, is Micah 5:1-5a. When you see a letter next to a verse number it signifies a part of a verse. A letter ‘a’ signifies the first part of a verse, a letter ‘b’ signifies the second, a letter ‘c’ signifies the third, and so on. Also, at times the contributor chose to utilize more than one Scripture reading. For your personal benefit, be encouraged to take the time to read all the selections of Scripture in entirety, then read the particular verse chosen by the author!
While we would love to provide it, there is no room here for a detailed breakdown of each translation. You are encouraged to ask your pastor, which may encourage him or her to research a translation that may be new. Each one of the translations/renderings of the Scriptures in English on this page is cited at least once by an author. Please ask pastors you know about the translations they prefer, and ask them about the translation(s) you prefer. The translations/renderings included in our Falls City Advent/Christmas Devotional are (in Alphabetical Order by acronym):
CEB: Common English Bible
CJB: Common Jewish Bible
ESV: English Standard Version
KJV: King James Version
NIRV: New International Readers Version
NLT: New Living Translation
NRSV: New Revised Standard Version
VOICE: The Voice
~ The Editors