Advent Devotionals for Adults

This Advent season, the Christian Education Team lifts up two books for your consideration.

Each book can be purchased from your preferred book provider.  

Hope: A User’s Manual by MaryAnn McKibben Dana

Here’s a description of the book:

What hope is, what hope isn’t, and how to find it in hopeless times.

How do we cultivate hope to face each day? How do we find the energy to persevere, knowing things don’t always work out OK, no matter what the platitudes say? How do we pursue the work of justice, knowing that the task is too big for any of us?

This book addresses these questions. It’s MaryAnn’s attempt to write herself back into a sense of hope after a grueling few years of life and world events.

Though this is not a pandemic book, readers will see COVID-19’s hulking presence from time to time, as well as the looming specter of climate change and the urgent work of confronting racial and economic injustice. Also braided in these pages is MaryAnn’s experience walking with her daughter through a debilitating depression. The family found hope hiding in unexpected nooks and crannies in that journey; but hope also lurks in tattooed wisdom from a beloved children’s book and in Marvel movies, on the running trail and in a sweater full of holes.

One thing is certain: real hope demands that we do something with it. That we live it out. That we use hope to participate in a bigger story playing out behind the bleak world we see on the news or in our social media feeds every day.

Whether you’re a person of faith, or someone disillusioned with faith, or someone who hardly ever thinks about faith: if you’re a human being who longs for a spiritual counternarrative to live by, this book points to one resilient enough to endure crises and crushing defeats. If you’re tired of hearing about some heavenly hereafter amid the pressing need for justice here and now, this is a book about hope for this world.


Advent in Plain Sight: A Devotion Through Ten Objects by Jill J. Duffield

Here’s a description of the book:

At Christmas, God came into our ordinary world in the form of a child, and still today, God is at work through the ordinary stuff of life, if we train our eyes to see.

In this daily devotional for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, Jill J. Duffield draws readers’ attention to ten ordinary objects that appear in the biblical narratives of messianic prophesy and incarnation–objects we encounter in our own lives. Through objects such as gates, trees, cloth, light, and water, readers will find new meaning in the biblical account of Jesus’ coming. By connecting everyday objects with biblical texts, Advent in Plain Sight prompts readers to see the near kingdom of heaven on earth and ponder what that divine proximity enables and asks them to do and be. Each daily devotional features a Scripture reading, prayer, and reflection, reminding Christians that God still dwells among us, even in the most ordinary places.