O Come, Promise of Peace

Advent Reflections 2021

By: Susanna M. Kawolics

First Sunday of Advent: Sunday, November 28


Begin Reflections on: Monday, November 22



- Jeremiah 33:14-16

- Psalm 25:1-10

- 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

- Luke 21:25-36


The overall theme of this week:  Hope 


In God there is always hope that a new reality might be created. 

May God’s hope for this world become our hope as well.

Second Sunday of Advent: Sunday, December 5


Begin Reflections on: Monday, November 29



- Baruch 5:1-9

- Luke 1:68-79

- Philippians 1:3-11

- Luke 3:1-67


The overall theme of this week:  Peace 


God’s vision for this world is one where all creation is at Peace.  May this vision guide our lives.

Third Sunday of Advent: Sunday, December 12


Begin Reflections on: Monday, December 5



- Zephaniah 3:14-20

- Isaiah 12:2-6

- Philippians 4:4-7

- Luke 3:7-18


The overall theme of this week:  Joy 


We anticipate with joy God's presence breaking into our world today and every day as it has from long ago.

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Sunday, December 19

Begin Reflections on: Monday, December 13


- Micah 5:2-5a

- Psalm 80:1-7

- Hebrews 10:5-10

- Luke 1:39-55


The overall theme of this week:  Love 


As we journey into this last week of Asvent, the traditional "O Antiphons" prepare our hearts to receive God's love made flesh in the birth of Christ

Christmas: Saturday, December 25

Begin Reflections on: Monday, December 20


- Isaiah

- Psalm 96

- Titus 2:11-14

- Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)


As we approach the fulfillment of God’s promise of salvation, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, may our reflections and prayers prepare our hearts for Christ’s coming.

As I write these reflections, we are living through a turbulent time. We had hoped the global pandemic threatening the health of millions would be over, but we have not yet seen its end. We had hoped the political climate in our country would become less divisive, yet differing viewpoints continue to sever relationships. We had hoped for more peace in our world, yet many nations are beset by turmoil, displacing thousands who fear for their lives. We are in need of healing and peace—peace within our own hearts, peace in our communities, peace in our country and our world. 


As we enter into this sacred season of Advent, we remember that Jesus was born into a world governed by cruel and unjust laws that oppressed the marginalized and divided people against each other. People then, as now, longed for a Messiah who would save them, who would liberate them, who would bring them peace. 

Throughout the centuries, we who have longed for the coming of Christ, the promised Prince of Peace, have expressed this yearning in a variety of ways. One way has been through images of God known as “O Antiphons.” These became part of the Christian tradition in the 7th or 8th century. They are different names for God, traditionally used during the last week of Advent, December 17th through 23rd, and sung in the seven verses of the Advent hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (included in this booklet).


Advent is a time to deliberately prepare our hearts to welcome the Christ. These reflections have been created in the hope that they will enrich our Advent journeys by providing a prayerful intention of deepening our relationship with God. Because God is so much greater than our minds can even begin to comprehend, we can only know God through glimpses, through reflections. Inspired by the O Antiphons, I have sought to express other images of God based on the weekly Revised Common Lectionary readings for this Advent and Christmas season. The reflections for the Sunday readings begin on the Monday before so that we will have the opportunity to reflect on these Bible verses before hearing them in worship. There is also a prayer to guide each day. I trust that through our united prayers, we can know more peace in our hearts, and thereby offer transformation and hope to our world. By using the first person plural we, I imagine the community of people using this resource to be allied in prayer.


As we take time to pray, may our reflections deepen our relationship with God, with each other, and with all the world. In this way, may we prepare our hearts to celebrate the coming of Christ. 


In Christ’s peace,

Susi Kawolics

Monday, November 22


Antiphon:  O Fulfiller of Promises, Come


Scripture:  Jeremiah 33:14 The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made . . .


Prayerful Reflection

O Fulfiller of Promises, Come~

Grant us trust to take you at your word,

to believe you fulfill your promise to us:

to break down divisions and to bring us peace.

As we begin this Advent journey,

let this will be a time for us

to soften our hearts, to broaden our minds,

to deepen our compassion

towards our brothers, siblings and sisters

who are with us on this journey of life.

As we put our hope and trust in you,

guide our thoughts, words and deeds

to work towards your hope for peace,

so we may do our part in bringing about

the fulfillment of your promise.


Tuesday, November 23


Antiphon: O Righteous Branch, Come


Scripture: Jeremiah 33:15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David . . .


Prayerful Reflection

O Righteous Branch, Come~

Spring up from the kernels of our past and blossom into hope for the future.

Let our yesterdays become nourishment

for the fruits of our tomorrows.

Make us ever stronger, wiser,

more compassionate,

that each new day

we may grow closer to becoming

the persons you have created us to be.

Rooted in your hope,

branching toward your light,

strengthened and nourished by your love,

may we scatter seeds today that will

produce a harvest

of righteousness and peace. 


Wednesday, November 24


Antiphon:  O Giver of Abundant Love, Come


Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 3:12  . . . and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all people . . .


Prayerful Reflection

O Giver of Abundant Love, Come~

Transplant our constricted hearts

with your expansive one.

Grant that as easily as we are able to love

those who love us, those who are like us,

those who believe as we do,

we may receive an abundance of love from you

to offer love to others as well.

May we embrace with compassion

those whose actions we cannot understand,

those whose stories we cannot imagine,

those whose ways we cannot make sense of.

Fill us with your abundant love,

that your hope for peace among all your children

would fill us and flow from us,

through our prayers, words and deeds,

to be realized in this world.


Thursday, November 25


Antiphon: O Ancient Mercy, Come


Scripture:  Psalm 25:6 Be mindful of your mercy, O God, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.


Prayerful Reflection

O Ancient Mercy, Come~

Save us once again.

Hold us in compassion as we seek your pardon

for the times we have not lived

mercifully and generously in this world.

Pardon us, redeem us, reclaim us as your own.

Make your ancient mercy new,

and as you forgive us, so may we also forgive.

Remind us that we are made in your image,

with your compassion, your kindness,

your grace coursing through us.

We place our hope

in your steadfast love and mercy,

flowing in us and from us

to bring peace to your people on earth.


Friday, November 26


Antiphon: O Everlasting Word, Come


Scripture: Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.


Prayerful Reflection

O Everlasting Word, Come~

At the dawn of time,

your word spoke the cosmos into being.

At the appointed time,

your word became flesh in the person of Jesus.

At this moment in time,

your word still rings out

in the acclamations of your children. 

Teach us to listen that we may hear

your promise of hope,

your longing for love,

your dream of peace.

Grant that our lives may give voice to

your word once again,

speaking justice and peace, healing and hope

into being.


Saturday, November 27


Antiphon:  O Rewarder of the Patient, Come


Scripture: Psalm 25:3 Let none that wait for you be put to shame . . .


Prayerful Reflection

O Rewarder of the Patient, Come~

Our world demands immediate responses,

quick reactions, instant gratification.

In this season of Advent waiting,

grant us the gift of stepping back,

the gift of pause, of reflection, of prayer

before we speak or act.

May this intentional patience enable us

to see a glimpse of hope in the midst of despair,

to find a way of peace in the midst of rancor,

to offer a sign of love in the midst of animosity.

Summon us to daily prayer, meditation,

and communion with you,

that we may be filled with your spirit of hopefulness, patience and peace.


Sunday, November 28


Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent


O God of Hope, Come~

In these days of preparation,

anchor us in your ancient

and still-speaking word.

Quiet us, give us patience,

create space within our hearts

that we may be filled

with your mercy and abundant love.

Grant us hope and trust

that the seeds we plant

through our prayers, words and deeds

in these Advent days

will bring to bear your promise of peace.

We ask this through Christ,

our Savior and our Hope,


Monday, November 29


Antiphon:  O Path Clearer, Come


Scripture:  Luke 3:4 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make the paths of the Lord straight.’ ”


Prayerful Reflection

O Path Clearer, Come~

As we wander along

the crooked roads of our own making,

summon us back to you.

Call our names, beckon us,

tune our ears and hearts

to your voice.

Guide us to follow your ways,

to clear the obstacles that obstruct the path

of your compassion and justice.

Strengthen us to mow down

the hatred and judgment that thwart

the blooming of your mercy and love.

Lead us to clear paths

of righteousness and peace,

for your name’s sake.


Tuesday, November 30


Antiphon:  O Transformer of Sorrow, Come


Scripture: Baruch 5:1 Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem, and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God.


Prayerful Reflection

O Transformer of Sorrow, Come~

When our hearts are cloaked

in sorrow or affliction, in rage or unforgiveness,

in hopelessness or despair,

strip us bare and wrap us

in the blanket of your transforming grace. 

Clothe us in your solace, dress us in your wisdom,

cover us in your mercy.

Transform our struggles into lessons,

our heartaches into hope,

our resentments into forgiveness.

Enfold our afflicted, anxious and grieving hearts

in the garment of your comfort and your peace.


Wednesday, December 1


Antiphon:  O Compassion Made Flesh, Come


Scripture: Philippians 1:8 For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus.


Prayerful Reflection

O Compassion Made Flesh, Come~

You were birthed into our world

to become one with us in our humanity:

to experience and to share our pain,

to know and understand our deepest joys and concerns,

to instruct and guide us in the ways of peace.

Journey with us and companion us

with the compassionate love for which we long.

Surround us with those who make real

your kindness and mercy,

your tenderness and care.

Thus encouraged and inspired,

make us to become your compassion

and peace made flesh for others.


Thursday, December 2


Antiphon:  O Flowing Knowledge, Come


Scripture: Philippians 1:9 And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight . . .


Prayerful Reflection

O Flowing Knowledge, Come~

Wash away our blind spots,

erode our ignorance,

dismantle the parts of our ego

that cling so tenaciously to

power, prestige, and privilege.

Let your truth flow through us,

crumbling our misunderstandings,

fabrications and deceits

so deeply embedded within us.

Gently guide us to understanding,

to knowledge and insight,

so that we may be at peace with ourselves,

and then work to saturate your world

with truth, justice and peace.


Friday, December 3


Antiphon:  O Tender Daybreak, Come


Scripture: Luke 1:78-79 By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in the night and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.


Prayerful Reflection

O Tender Daybreak, Come~

Let your mercy dawn on this world.

Break into the shadows

of hatred, of despair,

of loneliness and fear.

Caress our hardened hearts

with the soft touch of your mercy.

Illumine our judgmental minds

with the glow of compassion.

Shine in our shadowed corners

with shafts of your glimmering light

that we may be shown how

to radiate your peace into this world.


Saturday, December 4


Antiphon: O Gatherer of Children, Come


Scripture: Baruch 5:5b . . . look toward the east, and see your children gathered from west and east, at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that God has remembered them.


Prayerful Reflection

O Gatherer of Children, Come~

Bring us together as your children all,

from the west, east, north and south.

From all the corners of the earth

gather us into true community:

to hear each others’ stories,

to respect and appreciate differences,

to seek peace.

As your children, we rejoice that you know,

love and remember each one of us,

as you also do all your other children.

Out of this love and unity, may we treat

all people in this world

as our brothers, siblings and sisters,

one family held in your all-embracing heart.


Sunday, December 5


Prayer for the Second Sunday of Advent


Transform our lives.

Save us from turmoil and strife,

from judgment and hatred,

from ignorance and falsehoods.

Open us to your compassion,

teach us your truth,

fill us with your mercy.

Live in us that we may make real

your love for all your children

throughout the world.

Light our way,

and lead us in your paths

of righteousness and peace.

We ask this through Christ,

our Savior and our Peace.


Monday, December 6


Antiphon:  O Exultant Song-Giver, Come


Scripture:  Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory, who will rejoice over you with gladness, who will renew you in God’s love, and will exult over you with loud singing."


Prayerful Reflection

O Exultant Song-Giver, Come~

Renew us in your love.

Make our hearts sing

as we rejoice with you in gladness

and glorify your name with exuberant voice.

Refresh our hearts 

with devotion, blessing and adoration for you.

For your faithfulness to us in the past,

for your steadfast love for us in the moment,

for your abiding presence with us

through eternity,

with joyful hearts we lift to you

our exultant songs of praise.


Tuesday, December 7


Antiphon:  O Uplifter of the Outcast, Come


Scripture: Zephaniah 3:19b And I will save the one who is lame, and gather the one who is outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.


Prayerful Reflection

O Uplifter of the Outcast, Come~

You tenderly gather

those who are marginalized and displaced.

Give us compassion for those who are poor,

for those who are oppressed,

for the refugees, the immigrants,

the asylum seekers.

Compel us to care, to change our attitude

from blame to mercy,

from ostracization to companionship,

from pity to solidarity.

May all your children be treated

with respect and dignity

as we seek to lift them up, to ally with them

until they know security, safety,

peace and joy in their lives.


Wednesday, December 8


Antiphon:  O Well of Salvation, Come


Scripture: Isaiah 12:3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.


Prayerful Reflection

O Well of Salvation, Come~

Our souls thirst for you.

We are parched from the relentless noise, demands and stresses of our lives.

Give us living water for our thirst,

balm for our woundedness,

calm for our anxiousness.

Soak us to our core with your kindness,

and satisfy our longing.

Quench our dryness

with your profound quiet, stillness,

peace and comfort,

that we might once again know

the joy of your presence,

and the depths of your saving grace.


Thursday, December 9


Antiphon:  O Burner of Chaff, Come


Scripture: Luke 3:17 With winnowing fork in hand, that one will clear the threshing floor, and gather the wheat into the granary, but will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.


Prayerful Reflection

O Burner of Chaff, Come~

In your wisdom and mercy,

cleanse us.

Clear the chaff from our lives.

Burn away the desire for the material,

the pursuit of the ultimately insignificant,

the self-righteousness of our judgments,

the vanity of our entitlement.

Sweep out excess ego and

extraneous wants.

Leave us with

the life-giving, nourishing, sustaining wheat

of your love, mercy, compassion and peace

that our joy may be full.


Friday, December 10


Antiphon:  O Surpassing Understanding, Come


Scripture: Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Prayerful Reflection

O Surpassing Understanding, Come~

Into our limited minds

pour your wisdom.

Grant us a spirit of humility

as we seek to discern your truth.

Lead us to uncomfortable places

and difficult conversations,

that our minds may be stretched

and our hearts expanded.

Give us courage to admit

that we may be wrong,

humbleness to acknowledge

that we may not know,

and joy in discovering

new and surprising truths.


Saturday, December 11


Antiphon: O Attender of Prayers, Come


Scripture: Philippians 4:6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.


Prayerful Reflection

O Attender of Prayers, Come~

Give ear to our deepest desires,

our heartfelt confessions, our paralyzing fears,

our raging anger, our profound adoration and gratitude.

We praise you that you welcome us

into your heart just as we are,

with everything we carry.

Join us in our joys,
companion us in our sorrows,
calm us in our anxieties,
and abide with us through our doubts,

as we trust you to attend lovingly to

each and every one of our prayers.


Sunday, December 12


Prayer for the Third Sunday of Advent


O God of Joy, Come ~

Summon us to attend to your voice,

open us to receive your grace,

remind us of

your ever-abiding presence

each and every moment of our lives.

Expand and grow

our understanding of others’ differences,

our compassion for those who are poor,

our gratitude for all your blessings.

Cleanse us with your grace,

and shower us with your love,

that our joy may be full,

and that our lives may flow

with healing and light for all your children.

We ask this through Christ

our Savior and our Joy.


Monday, December 13


Antiphon:  O Embodiment of Love, Come


Scripture:  Hebrews 10:5 Christ, having come into the world, said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me . . .”


Prayerful Reflection

O Embodiment of Love, Come~

In this time of hectic holiday preparations,

frantic shopping,

frenetic decorating,

furious finishing touches,

remind us of the ultimate gift of the season.

You have given us bodies,

and created us to offer our very selves

in service to you

by being of service to others.

Grant that, as Christ embodied your love,

we might embody Christ’s love

with a compassionate, generous, sacrificial

giving of ourselves to others.


Tuesday, December 14


Antiphon:  O One of Peace, Come


Scripture: Micah 5:4b-5 And they shall dwell secure, for now the ruler shall be great to the ends of the earth, and shall be the one of peace.


Prayerful Reflection

O One of Peace, Come~

Enter into the warring madness of countries,

into the combative rage of disagreements,

into the hurtful conflicts of relationships,

into the anxious worries of our hearts.

Through your peace, make us to open

our eyes to other points of view,

our hearts to deeper understanding,

our ears to compassionate listening,

our mouths to respectful dialogue.

May your love for your children

and for the world flow through us

that we may strive to be

purveyors of peace in this world.


Wednesday, December 15


Antiphon:  O Restorer of Light, Come


Scripture: Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!


Prayerful Reflection

O Restorer of Light, Come~

Everything around us shines with

the brightness of the season:

blinking bulbs, glowing decorations,

sparkling gifts, glittering displays.

For those with sorrowful souls

and hurting hearts,

the glare can be blinding.

Restore in all hearts

a glimmer of hope,

a spark of peace

a twinkle of joy

that comes from your compassion and care.

May we bring the soft glow

of your tender love

into the oft-blinding glare of this world.


Thursday, December 16


Antiphon:  O Feeder of the Hungry, Come


Scripture: Luke 1:53 God has filled the hungry with good things, and has sent the rich empty away.


Prayerful Reflection

O Feeder of the Hungry come~

Make our hearts and souls

hunger for good things:

for your word, your wisdom, your justice,

your love, your vision for our world.

Open us to create space for you

by ridding ourselves of excess:

of our many possessions, of our too big egos,

of our rigid opinions, of our self-righteous judgments.

Enter into the emptied places within and

fill us with good things.

Satisfy us with your presence and love.

Compel us generously and joyfully

to feed the many hungers of our hurting world.


Friday, December 17


Antiphon:  O Wisdom of God, Come


Scripture: Luke 1:45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from God.


Prayerful Reflection

O Tender Daybreak, Come~

Let your mercy dawn on this world.

Break into the shadows

of hatred, of despair,

of loneliness and fear.

Caress our hardened hearts

with the soft touch of your mercy.

Illumine our judgmental minds

with the glow of compassion.

Shine in our shadowed corners

with shafts of your glimmering light

that we may be shown how

to radiate your peace into this world.


Saturday, December 18


Antiphon: O God of Ancient Israel, Come


Scripture: Micah 5:2 But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, . . . from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.


Prayerful Reflection

O Lord of Ancient Israel, Come~

Your origin is from ancient days,
yet you continue to be present in our lives.
Remind us that you still live and move

in our world, in our time,
as you have throughout our sacred history.
Grant us courage and hope

as we journey forward,
to trust and remember that

your steadfast love and mercy

have always been,
are now,

and shall be with us

forever more.

Sunday, December 19


Prayer for the Fourth Sunday of Advent


O God of Love, Come,

O Flower of Jesse’s Stem, Come~

Bud on the bare branches of our despair,

bloom in the withered dreams of our past,

burst forth from the hopelessness

of our lives

with the promise of

your presence, your peace, your love.

Empty us of all that

would keep us from knowing

your truth, your compassion, your radiance.

Remind us of your steadfast companioning

as we near the end of our Advent journey.

Fill us with your light

that we may shine your love in this world.

We ask this through Christ,

our Savior and our Love.


Monday, December 20


Antiphon:  O Key of David, Come


Scripture:  Psalm 96:8  Ascribe to God the glory due that holy name; bring an offering, and come into God’s courts.


Prayerful Reflection

O Key of David, Come~

Unlock the closed, bolted, sealed

barriers within us

that keep us from fully knowing

your compassion, your forgiveness, your love.

You have opened the doors,

and invited us into your courts,

into your presence, into your heart.

Summon us forth

as we bring to you our offerings:

our broken dreams, our unfulfilled promises,

our hurtful words, our deep regrets.

Accept them and transform them.

Embrace us, heal us, and free us

from what would hold us back

from living fully into the Dominion of your love.


Tuesday, December 21


Antiphon:  O Radiant Dawn, Come


Scripture: Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in gloom have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep shadows, on them has light shined.


Prayerful Reflection

O Radiant Dawn, Come~
Shine in our lives.
On this darkest of days,
this longest of nights,
we yearn for light.
May we trust that even

when shadows surrounds us,

you companion us,

guiding us gently forward toward

your solace, your warmth and your love.

Restore us, renew us, refresh us

with your promise

of hope, salvation and light.


Wednesday, December 22


Antiphon:  O King of All Nations, Come


Scripture: Psalm 96:3 Declare God’s glory among the nations and marvelous works among all peoples!


Prayerful Reflection

O King of All Nations, Come~

Remind us that we all began in you,

that we are destined to return to you,

and that we are connected as a global family

through our very humanity.

May we value our bonds

rather than our divisions,

and build bridges

rather than walls.

Unite us into a worldwide family

under your Dominion,

binding us together

in your loving, all-inclusive embrace.


Thursday, December 23


Antiphon:  O Emmanuel, Come


Scripture: : Luke 2:7 And she gave birth to her first-born child, whom she wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger ... 


Prayerful Reflection

O Emmanuel, Come~

Prepare us to celebrate your birth,

your coming to earth as God made flesh,

revealing to the world

a glimpse of the holy attributes of God.

Through your caring presence,

your compassion and forgiveness,

your peacemaking ways,

your willingness to sacrifice all for our sake,

you show us how to live and how to love.

May we follow in your ways,

embodying your presence to the world through our lives.


Friday, December 24


Antiphon:  O God of Many Names, Come


Scripture: Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born . . . One whose name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Mother, Prince of Peace.”


Prayerful Reflection

O God of Many Names, Come~

As you came to make yourself known to us in Jesus so long ago,

make yourself known to us again today.

In your myriad manifestations,

reveal to us your countless attributes.

Guide us with your wisdom, O Wonderful Counselor.

Strengthen us with your power, O Mighty God.

Ground us in your eternal care, O Everlasting Father and Mother.

Calm our anxious spirits, O Prince of Peace.

Open our hearts and minds to recognize you

in the endless ways you reveal yourself in our lives and in our world.


Saturday, December 25


Antiphon: O Blessed Hope, Come


Scripture: Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all . . . awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ . . .


Prayerful Reflection

O Blessed Hope, come~

We began this Advent journey in hope,

which has now been fulfilled by your coming.

Blessed be your name, Holy One.

You have released us

from the bondage of sin,

redeemed us from the depths of despair,

rescued us from the shadow of death.

On this day we celebrate the unending gifts

of hope, peace, joy and love

you have given so generously.

Send us forth in grateful response

to offer these gifts to the world.


May you and your loved ones experience the fullness of Christ’s presence this Christmas season 

and God’s peace in your hearts as you enter the New Year.


I would welcome any of your thoughts, comments, suggestions or reflections as you journey through this Advent season.  Please share on this website:  Fedchurch.org/adventreflections

or on my facebook page:


or email to: reverendsusi@gmail com