Thursday, November 23, 2017
Our Advent/Lent Devotionals
One of the things I am most thankful for this past year was the opportunity to have an Advent (and Lenten) devotional published by the fine people at ACTA Publications. The best part of the process was being able to compose these daily reflections along side my beloved wife, Rakhi. Having been married a little over eight year now with three wonderful children, the entire process of selecting a portion of the daily lectionary reading, reflecting and praying about each passage, and composing daily insights together as a couple was something I will cherish. To be honest, at first I was a bit worried that we might not be able to find the time to do this project. Yet, God did provide the time and energy (and hopefully insight) to complete both devotionals. (A special thanks to my mom for watching for the kids at various points for a few hours during the day which allowed us to go off somewhere quiet to write.)
Two things struck me as we working on both of these devotionals. First, I was really amazed by my wife's insights and creativity. Now, I have known this for the many years that we have been together, but most often she likes to work quietly on her own, like most artists do. Yet, during this project, I was able to accompany her more directly as we reflected on the day's lectionary passage as well as watching her do the illustrations for the cover and text. It was truly a blessing to see her work, one that I will treasure. Secondly, I came to appreciate The Message: Catholic/Ecumenical Edition even more than I had originally. Of all the translations out there, and yes it is a paraphrase, it remains the only one that consistently elicits emotions from me when I read. Now this is not to say that I will be using The Message for serious bible study (whatever that may be) but I have now found a place for The Message in my daily prayer time. This was not something that I would have expected almost ten years ago when I started this blog. But to each their own.
The Advent and Lenten devotionals were designed to give you short reflections and action steps for each day of the season, accompanied by illustrations designed by my wife. It was important to me that these devotionals would be small (in order to be easily carried around with or placed in a Bible case), contain room for personal notes, and inexpensive (the Advent one is .99 cents and the Lenten is $1.25). In the end, I think we achieved these three goals. So, if you are looking for a devotional during this upcoming Advent and Lenten seasons that is a little different than most, utilizing a translation of the bible that might cause you to reflect, rethink, laugh, or simply just pause for a few more moments than usual, ACTA might have the one you are looking for.
The Advent devotional: Expectantly Waiting in Wonder
The Lenten devotional: Walking Together in Freedom