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Advent

December 1, 2008

Advent is a strange Christian tradition. It starts four Sundays before Christmas (for those of you who don’t know), which was yesterday, and is supposed to … I don’t know … anticipate Christmas. Anticipating Christmas in our society means shopping, racking up credit card debt, scheduling every free moment of every weekend, and being cranky at people in public (@tamipants).

The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before… .What is possible is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s [back] fade in the distance. So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.

Jan L. Richardson, Night Visions

God bless the German Lutherans for advent calendars (and Christmas trees). You know – you peel off a tab every day and get candy or scripture, depending on the calendar you bought. I should find one of those for ’08.

I found this quote in thinking/surfing about Advent:

It was not suddenly and unannounced that Jesus came into the world. He came into a world that had been prepared for him. The whole Old Testament is the story of a special preparation … . Only when all was ready, only in the fullness of his time, did Jesus come.

Phillips Brooks, The Consolations of God

This season should mean something more to Christians in general, but especially for Christians who are looking for – and expecting – His return. In a season of anticipation, what we are looking toward in the festivities is the nativity. The nativity points us to Christ, and that expectation of a coming King should be stirring our spirits toward the expectation of our King’s return.

I’m going to try to make this blog my Advent calendar this year. I’m sure I’ll miss days, but I’m going to try. What are we lifting our heads and looking for? Gifts? Family gatherings? Cards, parties and decorations? Yes. But let’s also look for the God who became man, died in your place, and promised to come back for you one day soon …

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Life As We See It permalink
    December 2, 2008 12:24 pm

    My family always did Advent growing up and I loved it. Every Sunday we’d read scripture, sing carols and tell Christmas stories then light the Advent candle and read the meaning of that candle for that day – hope, joy, etc. Tim and I tried to do it last year and succeeded fairly well. I’m hoping to make it a tradition for us. I remember Advents more than most of the presents I got as a kid and that is what I want my kids to remember too. It’s not just one day of presents – it’s looking forward to God coming to earth and celebrating Him.

  2. Lex permalink
    December 2, 2008 9:14 pm

    There are meanings for every day’s candle? I’ve heard about meanings for the four big ones on Sundays … ?

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