A weekly collection of inspiration and resources for the journey, gathered from websites, books, and pass-alongs that have been shared with us. From The Wisdom Years – Spirituality for the Last Third of Our Lives.
Lo, he comes. To aching hearts. To exhausted people. To warring societies. To fractured families. To anger in the streets, and madness in the capitol, and grief in our homes. He comes to remind us – again – that the Kingdom of God is available and near, and we can choose to participate in it.
Advent calls us to a time apart, a time of serious reflection on how we will live the lives that have been formed in us and around us. Where we are is where we are – some of it by our own choosing, some of it foisted upon us, some of it deeply lamentable, some of it worth celebrating joyfully.
The invitation of Advent is to get serious about how we will each respond to the gifts the Christ child brings. Let us begin.
Here are some of the Advent offerings from around the Internet that we are aware of. (We welcome your input of others you know about.) We suggest you select one or more that speak to your soul and sign up to participate throughout Advent. For the four weeks of Advent, Gathered Wisdom will reflect upon some of these offerings.
Advent begins this Sunday, Nov. 29.
Words into Flesh: Monastery Scribes IV
“Emmanuel, God with us, is coming.” But how can we prepare for Christmas, for this miraculous moment that marks the birthing of God into each member of the human race? “I think poetry, music and art are the truest companions for our Advent journey of wonder and hope,” says Mary Lou Kownacki, who will facilitate this eRetreat.
During the four weeks of Advent, participants will receive a poem, a work of art, and a musical selection to reflect on, along with a writing prompt. The only requirement for the course is love of imagination, beauty, and a longing for the day when “in the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness…and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
FROM Monasteries of the Heart
Lux Divina: A 2020 Advent
Friday, November 27 – Friday, December 25
The Advent season and Christmas are known for their awe-inspiring sacred stories, stunning visual images, and soothing or soaring music. This year we invite you to practice Lectio Divina, Visio Divina, and Musica Divina with these rich resources. These practices will help us create a spacious and reflective time in community.
Lux Divina: A 2020 Advent Journey is an offering from Spirituality and Practice with their partners at Contemplative Outreach. Starting on Friday, November 27, you will receive email lessons three times a week through Christmas. You’ll have access to an online Practice Circle, a forum open 24/7, to share your reflections with a worldwide community. Then on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you can join a Zoom prayer group to both pray in silence and do the three “Divina” practices with others participating in the e-course.
FROM Spirituality and Practice
For the seventh year in a row, #AdventWord will gather prayers via a global, online Advent calendar. Beginning Sunday, Nov. 29, images and meditations can be experienced via the #AdventWord website, direct daily emails, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and ASL videos via YouTube. This year, meditations will also be available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.
Around the world, prayers ascend in response to the meditations. People post their reflections on their respective social media pages, tagging AdventWord on the platform. From there, AdventWord shares and reposts on each site – amplifying the prayers during this holy season.
FROM Virginia Theological Seminary and Forward Movement
The Advent and Christmas season is often associated with joy, love, generosity, and unity. But for many people, this time of year magnifies loneliness, anxiety, grief, and despair. While others are enjoying celebrations with their friends and families, those who are hurting often feel even more lost, abandoned, and alone than ever.
“Not all Christmases are white; some are blue,” Todd Outcalt writes. Blue Christmas is a devotional book for the 28 days of Advent and Christmas Day. Each devotion includes a scripture selection, meditation, prayer, and suggested Advent action. The book also features additional prayers, a “Blue Christmas” worship service, and reflection questions.
FROM The Upper Room
Way of Love Advent Calendar
The Way of Love is a way of life that was introduced by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry at the General Convention in 2018. More than a program or curriculum, it is an intentional commitment to a set of practices: Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest. An Advent calendar produced by the Episcopal Church invites you to engage each of these practices with particular actions every day of Advent.
Arts & Faith: Advent
Ignatian Spritualty. Com offers video commentary about works of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures of Advent. Use these videos to take a new look at this season of preparation through the lens of sacred art. Accompanying dotMagis blog posts offer reflections on using the art as a means of Ignatian prayer. Also on this site – podcasts, prayer, reflections for Advent.
FROM Ignatian Spirituality.com
Living Well Through Advent 2020
Designed for use as an individual reflection or for group study (including online as part of an Advent class or great), this resource from Living Compass provides a foundation for seeking a deeper experience of Advent, an experience that will help prepare us for the true meaning of Christmas. Available in both print and electronic editions.
From Living Compass.
If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at
Gathered Wisdom is from The Wisdom Years, a ministry that invites older adults to deepening spirituality in the last third of their lives. If someone forwarded this to you, learn more about The Wisdom Years and subscribe to the site at