Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Wednesday, December 9

By Rev. Palmer Cantler


Read Philippians 3:20

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (NRSV)

2020 has felt like an endless year of waiting and dashed expectations. But, in order to keep myself from falling into the pits of despair, I’ve adopted a practice of looking for the beauty of the pandemic. It’s not a search for silver linings, but intentionally watching where God is doing wonderful things.

In this season of Advent, the beauty of the pandemic, for me, is in the preparation. Each year around the holiday season, I get overly excited and spend way too much time decorating my home. While it seems like normal behavior, as the one who does not host the family holiday gatherings, I don’t get to enjoy the decorations as much as I would like. Holidays are spent bustling from one party to the next, bargaining how much time is spent with each family, and spending way too much time in the car.

But this year, my holiday season will be quieter, and I think that can be the beauty of the pandemic. Instead of getting caught in the chaos of parties, I’ll be spending more time at home, enjoying the fruits of my decorating labor.

Advent is a season of preparation and expectation for the eventual coming of Jesus Christ. It may not happen this year, but yet we prepare ourselves and wait for his arrival. In a year of dashed expectations, maybe Advent is to remind us that our expectation is focused on heaven.


Faithful God, source of our hope and expectation, help us to slow down in this season of Advent. Inspire us to see the beauty of where you are at work in our lives and make us open to focusing our expectations solely upon your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.  

Rev. Palmer Cantler is the Associate Pastor at Church Street and wrote this devotion in honor of the Soup Kitchen. 

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