December 2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

Every year I am baffled over what to do for midweek Advent services. And every year, just in the nick of time, the Holy Spirit steps up and helps me out. Sometimes, he has good ideas, in which case I claim the credit for myself. Other times his ideas are less than impressive, in which case I blame it on him. This year, he suggested to me to share a few reflections with you on the last book of the New Testament: St. John’s revelation. Three midweek services, however, can hardly scratch the surface of this impressive book.

That’s when the Holy Spirit provided me with another inspiration. This one came when I was shopping at Aldi. Near the checkout line they had on display a brilliant marketing ploy—an Advent calendar of beers. A case of 24 beers, a different one for every day of Advent, as you count down to our Savior’s birth. Saint Inebriation, the patron saint of booze, would be so proud.

We have an Advent calendar at our house—one that my mother’s girlfriends made for her for her wedding—with 25 little pockets on it and an ornament in each pocket to pin onto a felt tree.

“How about,” I thought (or the Holy Spirit thought for me), “an Advent calendar of devotional readings from the book of Revelation?” There are only 22 chapters to St. John’s Revelation, so if you miss a day or two, you’ll have some wiggle room. And the short devotions on each chapter, with a few additional supplemental readings, could be posted on our church’s website. Or, for those of you (like me) who aren’t on such good terms with technology, I could produce printed copies to be available every Sunday at Divine Service.

Wouldn’t it be fun to dive into the book of Revelation this Advent and to study that book of the Bible that everyone things would be fun so fun to study, but when they try, they find out it’s really not? But this year it will be fun! The book of St. John’s Revelation is fun. It just requires a little guidance. We’ll trust the Holy Spirit and see how he does.

What could be more Adventish than a book that ends with the prayer: “Come, Lord Jesus”?

So get ready to join me. And if you need some assistance in meditating on the fantastic and bizarre contents of St. John’s Revelation, perhaps the 24 beers of Advent at Aldi could help.

~Pastor Picard

P.S. You can access the devotions here.