Friday, November 23, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like...

It's the day after Thanksgiving and I've already seen pictures of family's decorating their Christmas trees! I don't even want to think about Black Friday...I avoid it at all costs.

My family may wait a day or two to tromp out to the 'cut your own' Christmas tree farm, its all of a sudden windy and cold outside! But that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about Christmas.

Hold on a minute!! Before we jump straight to the manger, I would like to invite us to slow down and wait for Advent. Advent is the four week season leading up to Christmas Day. It's a time of preparation AND yearning, not for presents but for the RETURN of Christ.  This may seem counter intuitive, we seem to like the hustle and bustle of the season, we are blessed when we are able to give gifts to our children and loved ones in celebration of Jesus' birth...but Advent is a most holy time, a time for people of faith to look forward with hope and yes, even yearning.

Advent helps me to make sense of the proclamation we make each time we celebrate Holy Communion as we "proclaim the mystery of faith: Christ has come, Christ is risen, Christ WILL come again!" Advent is the season when we lean into Christ's return.

We are really good at Christmas preparations, but I'm not so sure if we are on top of things when it comes to are some resources that may be helpful in your home to talk about Advent:

Want to learn more about advent in general? Click here for some interesting facts and info.

Here is a great glossary of advent terms and symbols.  

Why not have an advent wreath at home? Here are some devotions to use with your family.

Here is a story about the life lessons of St Nicholas that teaches us all about the gift of giving.

Here are weekly activities and coloring sheets for the season of advent.

Are there other resources that have been a blessing to you and yours during this in-between time? Share them with me and I'll be sure to pass them on!

peace, love in Christ

I couldn't resist adding this one for my preaching friends...
p.s.  Advent doesn't begin for another week!

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