St Anne with the Virgin and Child, 1519
by Albrecht Dürer

Advent begins today. This is my favorite time of year. I love getting past Thanksgiving so we can start getting ready for Christmas. Our society has made Christmas all about consuming, but that doesn’t mean we have to follow suit. Nor does it mean we can’t set all that aside and focus on what the birth of Jesus means for us and the world. This is a season to commemorate Christ’s birth and anticipate his second coming.

My religious background does not include Advent, or really much at all of the Christian calendar. Now I am discovering for myself some of those rich traditions. I have no idea how to celebrate Advent in a formal way outside of visiting a church that has Advent services. I remember as a kid getting those Advent calendars with pieces of chocolate for each day of Advent, but having no idea what that was all about.The church I attend doesn’t do anything in particular that I know of for Advent, but we will have a Christmas service. I also know there are differences in the traditions – for example today marks many church’s beginning of Advent, but for others they have a different day.

So how does one celebrate Advent? What are your Advent traditions?

Here is an Advent prayer I found:

Father in heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love and our minds are searching for the light of your Word. Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love, that the dawn of his coming may find us rejoicing in his presence and welcoming the light of his truth. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

Finally, a video that is showing up on a lot of blogs today is this one from Advent Conspiracy:

Is your church participating in Advent Conspiracy?

3 thoughts on “>Advent

  1. >www.peopleofhope.comIt’s an ELCA church, which is the more “liberal” (whatever that means these days) of the Lutheran denominations.There are things we like about it–particularly an emphasis on missional/social work and giving–and things that we have reservations about.We like the people we know who go there, too.The other church I like that’s local is http://www.living-stone-church.org. The pastor plays a mandolin. That’s an important point.Still, we miss Reformation Fellowship terribly.

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