Advent: A Few Ideas and Resources

Do you celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ as a babe at Christmas via Advent traditions? I come from a non-liturgical church background. When I was a child, we didn’t practice any Advent season tradition as is often done during the month before Christmas day. However, one of the churches Paul and I were a part of when we were rearing our girls participated in Advent traditions. We enjoyed the lighting of the candles in the Sunday morning service with the readings by various people of all ages. Anticipation shone on their faces.

Not an Advent Wreath, but the glow of our Christmas tree with the glow of the sunset behind.

Not an Advent Wreath, but the glow of our Christmas tree with the glow of the sunset behind.

So, we tried our own Advent time on Sunday evening at home. One year, our girls made an Advent wreath under the direction of Jane, a dear young lady who in time became a missionary in the Ukraine. (Jane is still there, and we still have that wreath, rather rumpled from years of keep in a box of Christmas decorations.) In our home, we did various Christmas readings from the Bible or an Advent book with the lighting of the candles. So simple. Sometimes we’d miss a reading, but we did what worked for us, accumulating some good memories through these rituals and reminders that encouraged us to anticipate Christmas and to build upon our biblical understanding of its significance.

If you would like a better understanding of Advent, check out the following post on gotquestions.org.  I’ve read a good number of their articles answering specific questions about the Bible, Christianity, and religion.  The posts I’ve read have been pretty biblically sound or reasonable. Of course, we are each accountable for our own thinking and should carefully weigh the information given (Acts 17: 11).  Click below and find their answer to the question, “What is Advent?” It’s a good, basic answer:

http://www.gotquestions.org/QOTW.htm .

If you have children (or even if you don’t but love to be creative and to make memories), check out the Focus on the Family site that provides directions, readings, and ideas for developing your own Advent experience:

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/holidays/making-meaningful-christmas-memories/celebrate-advent .

If you don’t have children, you may enjoy the following resource from Thomas Nelson publishers. It is a free e-book by Jack Counrtyman that can be the used for daily (or every few days or weekly) Advent readings. I quickly read through it, and it looks lovely. Adults should read aloud to each other! It is very bonding, creating good memories.

Use the link below to download your free eBook:

Download The Hope of Christmas (5 MB – PDF)  .

You are probably familiar with the Christmas scenes with one box to open each day until Christmas. Jacquie Lawson’s website has I believe two online Advent Calendars you can purchase for $4.00 each, or 10 for $2.00 each which you can buy for friends. You have a scene a day to click on. Jacquie’s team has put together beautiful scenes – some classical or traditional, many whimsical and humorous, and others truly majestic, while all of them are heart-warming. This year, I bought their new one, An Edwardian Christmas. If you miss a day, you can go back, and you can re-visit them whenever you want. They are great to show children (who love to observe the details), sharing a cheery laugh together. Paul and I greatly enjoy these (after all, we are still children!). We like putting them on the big screen so guests can see the visions and hear the accompanying music. Very uplifting! (Her online greeting cards are fabulous and worth a subscription.)  Check her out at the following site:

http://www.jacquielawson.com/

November 30 begins Advent this year. As of this writing, that is tomorrow. Our church here in Arizona does not participate in this tradition, but Paul and I will. We will open Jacquie Lawson’s visual and auditory feast in the morning before church.

In the evening , we will light the first candle in our new Advent wreath on our coffee table while beautiful music plays in the background (Moodyradio.com – Majesty Radio, one of their three online channels). Our Advent wreath has four tall candles that surround the large inner candle which represents Jesus, the Light of the World!  After lighting our first candle, we’ll read our first reading to each other.  The fire in the fireplace will cause the room to glow and sparkle. Warmth will flow from our hearts mingling with the warmth in the room.

Jesus is the light of our world.

A pleasant and God-pleasing Advent season to each of you!!

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