We live in strange times. Our world is shifting and changing, and we are increasingly aware of our vulnerability and uncertainty. The season of Advent invites us to embrace the yet unknown?to pay attention to what we do not see with our eyes and what we do not understand. It's a season that asks us to wait expectantly and hopefully, though we may not be at all certain just what we are waiting for.
As Christians, we are empowered by our knowledge of Jesus Christ: we know that Jesus was born, lived among us, was crucified, and rose from the dead and that through Christ we are given the profound gift of eternal life. But, at the first Advent, those who watched and waited did not have such assurance; they did not know what we know now. These people who had heard the prophets' foretelling and who were waiting for the Messiah?how did they experience the first Advent? Isaiah answers, "The people who walked in the darkness have seen a great light." (Isaiah 9:2, NRSV) As we watch and wait this Advent amid great uncertainty, we have much to learn from the saints who came before us.
Let's watch and wait together. The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent eCourse will be led by Sharon Conley Cottingham, Director of Formational Learning for The Upper Room, and attended by friends of The Upper Room. Our daily readings will come from The Wondrous Mystery, a collection of meditations from Weavings, an award-winning Christian journal published by The Upper Room. Written by exceptional authors, including Henri J. M. Nouwen, Barbara Brown Taylor, Wendell Berry, Sue Monk Kidd, Wendy M. Wright, and John S. Mogabgab, these meditations will challenge us to reflect on the wondrous mystery of God and on the ways that Jesus' birth upends the world as we know it and signals the beginning of God's kingdom.
Our eCourse includes:
- Daily meditations from The Wondrous Mystery
- Audio recordings of the daily meditations
- Daily reflection questions