Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Saturday, December 18

By Dwight R. Wade

A Prayer for the Seven Final Days of Advent

Read Matthew 1:22-23

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel’ (meaning, God with us).”

On December 1, 2019, Church Street observed the first Sunday of Advent, and the congregation looked forward to remembering the Christmas tradition, Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. Our opening hymn in worship was the beloved “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” On November 29, 2020, the congregation saw virtual worship only. 

Early Christians used Advent to remember the release of the captive Jews from Babylon. In the week before Advent, Benedictine monks fast and focus on the names attributed to Jesus in this hymn during the week leading up to Christmas. They celebrate Advent with penitence and fasting. We remember this when we sing the ancient hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” During the week before Christmas, Benedictine monks use the beginning of each verse to prepare their hearts and minds for the day of Jesus’ birth. They employ a different title for each daily meditation: O Wisdom, O God, O (stem) Root of Jesse, O David, O Dayspring, O King of the Gentiles, O Emmanuel (God with us.) 

I wonder if our own understanding and trust would be strengthened if, during this pandemic, we pondered the many facets of our Savior, like the Benedictine monks. And I wonder if fasting and penitence might not clear our heads and our hearts, making us more open to the everlasting hope that lies in Jesus. But, let us not fear, for Emmanuel is “our God with us.”


Holy Father, during this time of prolonged trials, we again focus on your presence each day this week. We remember your Wisdom, your undying care for your children, our human heritage through Jesse, David, the beginning of each day, the God of all people, the God who is WITH US.  Amen, and Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.