Welcome! As you set aside time each day for Advent prayer, consider using this approach, which works well for individuals and groups of all ages.
Light a candle. Pause to remember the presence of God filling you with Light and Love.
Pray this Opening Prayer:
Radiant Creator, awaken me to your presence.
Jesus, Light of all Lights, kindle love in my heart.
Spirit of Illumination, guide my path today.
Advent Reflection for the Day
If your face shines upon us, then we shall be safe. Psalm 80:4
The four candles of the Advent wreath signify four weeks of waiting for Christmas to arrive. But why use candles as the symbol for this passage of time? Why not a flower, a pinecone, a bell or a calendar on which to mark the days?
In Advent, the use of candlelight reminds us that Jesus (Immanuel, God With Us) came as a shining light into a troubled world in need of God’s healing presence. The gospel stories show us how Jesus is a source of light: Love flows naturally from his compassionate personality. His whole self radiates warmth and goodness. Everywhere he goes, the inner light of God’s presence within Jesus shines out to others.
No wonder a vast diversity of people are drawn to Jesus and trust him with their lives. Rich and poor, young and old, sick and healthy, the powerful and those with less influence– we all have our reasons for following Jesus.
The “saints” in art and literature are often depicted by a glow or an aura of light around them. There is something about them that draws others near. This quality is the light of God’s goodness shining in their lives. You, too, have this light. The Sufi poet Hafiz suggests that God kisses us on the forehead in the morning and lights “a Holy Lamp” inside our hearts. What a welcoming image for us to carry this Advent as we welcome the presence of the Living Christ each day.
Every morning (or anytime!), the first thing to remember is that our inner being is a lantern of God’s love. This eternal flame of goodness is at the core of who we are. As this divine love permeates us, we will increasingly live as a loving reflection of Christ’s light.
Set your intention for the day.
Today I will pray for the part of myself that needs God’s light to shine more fully within it.
Pray this Closing Prayer:
Jesus, you are the Everlasting Light.
Help me to bring your love everywhere I go.
Fill me so fully this Advent
that all my life will be a reflection of you.
Shine through me so that that everyone I come in contact with today
may feel your presence in my spirit.
Let them look and see, not just me, but you,
Light of all Lights,
Shining through me. Amen
As you blow out the candle and the light is gone, remember you have divine light within you that will never go out. You take the light of Christ with you wherever you are.