“Jesus is not Santa Claus. You don’t need to bring Him a list of everything wrong in your life. He knows. Rest in Him. Trust Him.”
– Dr. Melissa McCrory Hatcher, Ordering Our Affections: Advent
A Different Advent Devotional
I know Advent is almost over, but note this for next year: Ordering Our Affections: Advent is a compact, multisensory Advent devotional that is different than most others. I’m finding the distinctions quite refreshing.
It’s less about giving you words to read, and more about directly experiencing truths with God. Through scripture and prayer. Through art. Through music and poetry.
I met the author, Dr. Melissa McCrory Hatcher and her husband Josh at this silent Centering Prayer Retreat a couple years ago. Even though we weren’t able to talk directly to each other until the last day at lunch, I felt a connection with them, and correctly guessed that Melissa was pregnant, after experiencing a horrendous and unexpected loss of their sweet little 3-year-old son.
I’ve since learned more that Melissa is a tenacious and intelligent and gentle woman. Her devotion to God and family come through in this book. Even though her words are few, her faith is strongly evident through the exercises she provides us.
In Ordering Our Affections, Melissa provides this order for each day of Advent:
- Scripture to read aloud
- Blank space for reflection
- Meditation suggestion on a specific hymn or painting or poem or activity
- Prayer in response
The book is great for your own quiet time but it can also be done with children.
It doesn’t take long to do the devotional each day. But by putting more of yourself into it—more than just reading a set of words—you get more out of it.
As Melissa says, this ordering of our affections (instead of ordering more stuff) helps us “to prioritize the true, the good, and the beautiful.”
I’ll return to it again and again for future Advents.
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Do you have a favorite Advent devotional you have used? Please share in the comments.
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