An Advent Reflection: The God Who Appears

front-prayer-candlesIn a recent issue of Wired magazine, an article was featured that explored attempts by individuals to disappear. By disappear, I do not mean in the magic sense, but rather in the identity sense. From fake drowings, to fake airplane crashes, men and women have reacted to the pain of marital distress, financial fear and personal despair by running away, vanishing – disappearing.

In this Season of Advent, we celebrate the God who does the opposite. In the face of great pain, difficulty and the overall brokeness of the human condition, we worship the God who appears, runs toward the pain, and physically enters the scene. The Advent of Christ into the world brings us again to the central vision of the Gospel – that Emmanuel, God With Us, is in the business of appearing… at just the right time.


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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