Buy or Subscribe Today

Disciplines is available in a variety of formats: print, digital, and print/digital combo packages. A digital subscription includes access to author bios, the ability to comment, and audio lectio.

Sign Up Today

A god from a machine”—that is the literal translation of deus ex machina. This Latin phrase refers to the ancient Greek and Roman dramatic device used to solve an unsolvable problem at the end of a play by using a crane (“machine”) to lower a god onto the stage from...

Ever-present God, help me trust you more than I distrust everything else. Amen.


5 Comments
Log In to leave a comment
Lectionary Week
November 27–December 3, 2017
Scripture Overview

Advent begins not on a note of joy but of despair. Humankind has realized that people cannot save themselves; apart from God’s intervention, we are totally lost. The prayer of Advent is that Christ will soon come again to rule over God’s creation. The passages from Isaiah 64 and Psalm 80 express the longing of faithful people for God to break into their isolation and to shatter the gridlock of human sin. The New Testament texts anticipate with both awe and thanksgiving the coming of “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Isaiah 64:1-9. When have you found yourself in a disorienting setting? What was your cry to God? What response to your lament did you seek?
• Read Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19. What in you needs the restoration that only God can give?
• Read 1 Corinthians 1:3-9. How might you become a means of reconciliation in your family, your work setting, your city?
• Read Mark 13:24-37. What especially do you long for this Advent-Christmas? How can you participate in the transforming love of Christ to manifest a reconciling spirit?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Lauren b. headshot square

The Holy Service of Motherhood

"When I became a parent, I struggled to find God within the chaotic world where I now lived. I was used to contemplative prayer, to silence and service and listening for God’s still, small voice in quiet, hidden spaces. Suddenly none of my life felt quiet or hidden – it was all loud, messy, and exposed." Discover more.