Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Participating in Advent

Advent is the liturgical period preceding Christmas, beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas.  The focus is the coming of Jesus at the Incarnation and observed by many Christians as a season of prayer, fasting and penitence.

Participating in Advent is a wonderful way to put the focus on what Christmas really is all about.  Jesus was born to be a savior to the world.  God come to earth, incarnate.  Emmanuel.

I've never really focused on Advent in a personal way.  Sure, I've seen the church pick a family to come up to the front during Sunday service and light a candle on the wreath and read a Bible verse and pray a prayer.  This is usually quite entertaining as the small child lighting the candle brings all the suspense and tension of a disaster movie and the verse and prayer is usually inaudible and guessing what is being said makes the imagination wander into areas best not brought into the sanctuary.  Advent always seemed, to me, to be made for children.  I've seen Advent calendars with little doors to open with candy treats inside.  It always looked like the countdown to Santa's arrival rather than the coming of the King.

I've discovered Advent reminds us to focus on the second coming of our King and reminds us to keep Jesus at the center of our lives.  I know this is something I need to do.  I've found myself at the center of my life for far too long, lately.

I've found an Advent app for my iPhone with a Bible study to guide me through Advent.  I hope to learn more about Advent.  I'd like to learn what the candles mean and why there is a pink candle.  I'd like to move Jesus into the center of my thoughts and my life and, certainly, my Christmas.  The first day begins with Simeon and Anna meeting the Holy family and witnessing a promise they each had waited every day to see fulfilled in their lifetimes.  I want my Advent season filled with the anticipation of the coming of Christ, at Christmas and at the second coming.  I hope to be able to share more of my discoveries with you as this ADVENTure in Advent unfolds.

Happy Advent.  Oh come, Emmanuel.

Linking with Em at Imperfect Prose.


20 comments:

  1. I am also learning the joys of advent this year.  It is good to be in your company.

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  2. I'm with you, Advent needs another look in my life.  Thanks for your honesty, your words.

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  3. An Advent app - they've thought of everything now for apps.  :) 

    We don't use the pink candle anymore - I've forgotten now why.  Seems as if they might be hard to come by. 

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  4. We are thinking of the true meaning of Christmas.  And not commercialization or parties. 

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  5. haha...the impending disaster of a child lighting the candle...that is all too real...i think this would be good for us to do...

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  6. suzy @ a soulful lifeNovember 30, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    O come Emmanuelle is such a favourite of mine. I love this rendition by Enya!

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  7. I pray that you'll be greatly blessed as you delve into Advent this year. I don't think I was even AWARE of Advent until a few years ago; now I love the season for what the Lord does with my heart during this time.

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  8. Such a good focus for this season.  Extinguish the consumerism. 

    Thanks for your comments...good will come from it!

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  9. A friend just told me about a devotional, ADVENTure...is that what you refer to? It looks really interesting and talks about the meanings behind all of the Christmas symbols.

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  10.  I don't know.  Click the link in my post.  This is the devotional I'm doing.  :)  Thanks for reading.

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  11.  love the freshness of your Advent journey...I came to it late too, the liturgy of Advent but I can tell you that it just keeps being more and more the thing that grabs and fills my heart at every thought of Christmas.  I have every hope the same will happen for you! 

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  12. I'm looking forward to His influence on me through this.

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  13.  Pink AND purple.  I know, where will I find these?  lol

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  14. An Advent app? I'll have to check that out! Thanks for your heart and for the helpful info. Also for stopping by my blog and weighing in! :)

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  15. I grow up where Advent was a ritual...it did not have to be...but for us it was...I am now rediscovering some of those "rituals" can now have life for me...
    Blessings as we discover and rediscover Advent...

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  16. Tara_pohlkottepressNovember 30, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    so glad to find someone just dipping into the Advent pool too...even growing up with my father as the pastor of the church I attended, Advent candles were lit, but after that, I didn't remember much outside of friends chocolates they got to eat each day before school....now I am slowly re-learning the beauty of the anticipation.

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  17. My husband and I started participating in Advent about 6 years ago (we never did growing up) and I have so enjoyed it over the years. It helps me fix my thoughts of Jesus. And now that we have children, we have been doing a Jesse Tree for the past two years. It has been wonderful.

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  18. i've found myself at the center of my life for too long too friend. love this.

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  19. i am fascinated! i am glad to find you and i adore your sentence...I've found yself at the centre of my life for far to long now.' wonderful xxxxx

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