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Monday, December 3, 2012

Why Advent?

To many people, it's the Christmas season or the Holiday season.  To our family, it's the Advent season.

Advent is not Christmas.  Advent is the season before Christmas.  Advent is the season of preparation, of waiting expectantly, of reflection.  The word advent means "coming" or "arrival".

Advent is not the making and checking off of shopping lists.  Not that kind of preparation.  Instead, it is the preparation of our hearts to receive the most important gift of all, God-made-man, God-dwelling-among-us, Emmanuel.  We celebrate four weeks of Advent and each week has a theme:  Hope, Love, Joy and Peace.

My dad made each of his children an Advent wreath.  {And if I could find my USB cord, I'd share a picture of it with you.}  Ours graces our table and this year we will light it each evening.  We light one candle each week.  Each night we read a Bible passage and do an Advent craft to remind ourselves of the story of Advent.  This first week we are reading passages from the Old Testament that speak of the nation of Israel's longing for a Savior and the promise made by God through the prophets that one would come to them.

I love this first week, this week of Hope.  It is a wonderful time to reflect on the Hope we have in Christ.  That even though we live in a fallen, sinful world as fallen, sinful creatures, this is not all there is.  

Do you celebrate Advent?  How do you celebrate?

6 comments:

  1. Candle of Hope last night...yes, we do an Advent wreath in our home as well. We only light the candles on Sunday nights though. We talked yesterday in church about the nature of Advent hope - the Gospel reading had mentioned that expectant hope we all experience when we see a tree in Spring beginning to leaf out, and we know that Summer will come - and how our Advent hope is like that.

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  2. We made an advent wreath of fresh greens this year. We lit the first candle last night and will probably only light them on Sundays. Our youth pastor gave a really good children's sermon yesterday about how Advent is the season of patiently and expectantly waiting. I asked Jameson last night what Advent means and he said "patiently waiting"! So he listened and got it! Now, I think he believes it means patiently waiting to open his presents...but we'll give him a pass...he's only 5. :) Too bad our kids won't grow up doing 4-H, FFA, playing in the band and doing church programs together, Annie...Anna

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    1. They could! Come on home, we can use a good accountant here.

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  3. We are an Advent family here as well. I enjoy the time to reflect and prepare my heart. I really do sometimes let my devotional life go (which I am embarrassed about, but I try to be "real" with y'all!). During Advent, I really try to reignite that flame. My best friend's dad made our Advent wreath after I caught our old one on fire (true story). I treasure it as she and I live far apart. Phot on my blog. http://dakotapam.com/life-in-pastors-house-advent/

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    1. Beautiful!! Our wreath is wooden as well. My dad was a woodturner and he turned all the pieces. Each of us kids has one (and a communion set) that we treasure.

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