By Ann Boyd

Advent at The Well: Incarnation

"Where am I experiencing Emmanuel, God with us?"

We've cultivated a tradition of time for peace with God during Advent here at The Well. This year, we're offering four short audio devotionals, one for each week of Advent. Each of these special episodes will include a collection of prayers, poetry, Scripture, and music — all things that you can take with you through your day and week. You can also download a pdf of the readings for each episode, and if you've missed any, you can find all the episodes on this page.

We're so glad you could join us here for our final week of Advent as we meditate on the incarnation. We hope this audio resource can provide you with a few moments of rest and reflection in this busy time of year. 

— Ann Boyd

You can listen on iTunes or at All Shall Be Well: Conversations with Women in the Academy and Beyond. We hope you enjoy this audio meditation.
 

Readings from this Advent Meditation:
 

John 1.1-14 (New International Version)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

O Antiphon: December 23
“O Emmanuel” (6th century)

O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

“O Emmanuel” by Malcolm Guite

O come, O come, and be our God-with-us
O long-sought With-ness for a world without,
O secret seed, O hidden spring of light.
Come to us Wisdom, come unspoken Name
Come Root, and Key, and King, and holy Flame,
O quickened little wick so tightly curled,
Be folded with us into time and place,
Unfold for us the mystery of grace
And make a womb of all this wounded world.
O heart of heaven beating in the earth,
O tiny hope within our hopelessness
Come to be born, to bear us to our birth,
To touch a dying world with new-made hands
And make these rags of time our swaddling bands.

— from Waiting on the Word: A poem a day for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany by Malcolm Guite

A Breath Prayer.

Word made flesh
Dwell among us.

“Of the Father’s Love Begotten”

 Aurelius Prudentius, 4th century
trans. Henry W. Baker, 19th century

Of the Father's love begotten,
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see,
Evermore and evermore!

O that birth forever blessèd,
When the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Saviour of our race;
And the Babe, the world's Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him;
Angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him,
and extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert sing,
Evermore and evermore!

An Advent Benediction

Christ the Sun of Righteousness shine upon you, scatter the darkness from before your path, and make you ready to meet him when he comes in glory; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you, upon those whom you love, and those whom you would pray for today and always. Amen.
 

 

Photo by Lolame at Pixabay

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About the Author

Ann has worked for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since 1997, exploring her interests and gifts in music, teaching, and spiritual formation. These days, Ann spends free moments writing fiction and baking shortbread. She and her husband Jon live in Chicago with their two teenage daughters. Ann is the managing editor of The Well and the host of our podcast, All Shall Be Well.

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