Advent Devotions

2018 Advent Devotions

This year’s Advent Devotions are provided by Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS). Each year Pittsburgh Theological Seminary offers their Advent and Lent devotionals for free. You are invited to read daily messages written by members of their community.

How to access the devotions:

A limited number of printed devotions will be available in the Sanctuary narthex and adult Sunday School classes on The First Sunday of Advent. Additional copies can be picked up in the church office.

RRCB’s 2017 Advent Devotions

Devoting Time to Anticipation

The season leading up to Christmas tends to be a hectic one. We’re busy buying and planning and decorating for the holidays – and sometimes we just forget to stop and remember the depths of the spiritual meaning to these few weeks.

The church season of Advent helps us to do this well, providing a time of anticipation that draws us into the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love as we approach the celebration of the birth of the One who brings hope, the Prince of Peace, the Joy of our Salvation, and the embodiment of Love on Earth.

Advent 2017 begins Sunday, December 3, and each day of the season, we will post here a devotional focused on one of the four themes of the season, and ending with a focus on the Christ child at Christmas:

December 3-7: Hope
December 8-12: Peace
December 13-17: Joy
December 18-22: Love
December 23-24: Christ

These devotionals were written by members of River Road Church, Baptist, and they are accompanied by art drawn by our children (and a couple of our adults!) to represent this season and all it means for us as Christians.

I hope you’ll take a few moments each day to read these devotionals as we anticipate the coming of Christ together in the coming weeks.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

In Christ,
Libby

Header Art by Evan
Content Art by Michael
Photo by Libby 
Grammer

The Essential Message

Today's Scripture: John 3:14-21 16For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. (GNB) In my 1st grade classroom I assign weekly jobs to my class, and one of the more popular jobs is...

Consider the Steadfast Love of God

Today's Scripture: Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;    for his steadfast love endures for ever. (NRSV) When I read the first verse of Psalm 107, the one word that leaps off the page at me is steadfast.  I have a great appreciation,...

Everything in the Universe is Subject to Change

Today's Scripture: Ephesians 1:7-13 11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,12in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for...

Establish, Signify, Remember

Today's Scripture: Genesis 9:8-17 14-15"From now on, when I form a cloud over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the cloud, I'll remember my covenant between me and you and everything living, that never again will floodwaters destroy all life." (The Message) As one...

“Moving On”

Today's Scripture: John 14:1-4 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also." (NRSV) For today's devotion, you are invited to contemplate an artwork in progress entitled "Moving...

Love’s as Warm as Tears

Today's Scripture: Galatians 2:15-21 19bI have been crucified with Christ; 20and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (NRSV)...

Living the Christian Life

Today's Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:10-23 16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. (NRSV) Paul's letter to...

Then God Spoke All These Words

Today's Scripture: Exodus 20:1-17 1God spoke all these words: 2I am God, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery. (The Message) Here is an excerpt from a lenten sermon entitled, "Jesus Rolling His Eyes (and also Divorce)" by Rev....

Going to the Mountain

Today's Scripture: Mark 9:2-8 2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them. (NRSV) One spring, when my husband and I were dating, I had the privilege of...

God in Nature and Scripture

Today's Scripture: Psalm 19:1-14 1 The heavens are telling the glory of God;    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. 7 The law of the Lord is perfect,    reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure,    making wise the simple; (NRSV) The first six verses...

Faith and God’s Love

Today's Scripture: Romans 4:1-12 4Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. 5But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness. There are many ways to achieve success in life....

We are a Remembered People – Rejoice!

Today's Scripture: Psalm 105:1-11, 37-45 4 Seek the Lord and his strength;    seek his presence continually. 5 Remember the wonderful works he has done,    his miracles, and the judgements he has uttered, 6 O offspring of his servant Abraham,    children of Jacob, his...

Children of the Light

Today's Scripture: John 12:36-43 36 "Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light." When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. (NIV) Today's passage from John is the last time that Jesus appears in...

Hoping Against Hope

Today's Scripture: Genesis 17:3-7, 15-16 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an...

The Road Less Traveled

Today's Scripture: Mark 8:31-38 31Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And...

“Who do people say that I am?”

Today's Scripture: Mark 8:27-29 29He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ While walking with his disciples, Jesus turned to them and asked, "Who do people say that I am?" Their answers were wrong. Only Peter got it...

Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak

Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak - William Ringham Recording by River Road Chancel Bell Choir Charles Todd, Director Robert Gallagher, Minister of Music Recorded on Sunday, February 22, 2015

Don’t Quit Before the Miracle Happens

Today's Scripture: Psalm 22:23-31 30 Posterity will serve him;    future generations will be told about the Lord, 31 and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,    saying that he has done it. (NRSV) This is a psalm of deliverance; indeed, the psalm is titled:...

Free, Indeed

Today's Scripture: Psalm 77:1-20 14 You are the God who works wonders;    you have displayed your might among the peoples. 15 With your strong arm you redeemed your people,    the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.           Selah “Now, my debt is paid. It is paid in...

Speaking to Suffering

Today's Scripture: Job 5:8-27 8 ‘As for me, I would seek God,    and to God I would commit my cause. 9 He does great things and unsearchable,    marvellous things without number. (NRSV) Does virtue depend on the promise of reward or the threat of punishment? How does...

Love & Marriage, Horse & Carriage, Faith & Works

Today's Scripture: Ephesians 2:1-10 10 Instead, we are God's accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives. (CEB) The scripture passage for today contains one of the most quoted and...

Holes in our Souls

Today's Scripture: Psalm 25:1-10 4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;    teach me your paths. (NRSV) It is hard for me to get the Lady Antebellum song "Down South" out of my head. I like the interesting sound and beat, but it is the song's lyrics that are most...

Gossipy Whispering

Today's Scripture: Matthew 9:2-13 4 Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, "Why this gossipy whispering?" (The Message) Aside: I find it rather ironic that I'm writing about this passage which is entitled "Who Needs a Doctor" in the Message translation. (I had...