Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jesus -- putting the "Advent" into "Adventure" since before the beginning of time.

In 2008, my 197th resolution was to Devise a list of verses to read every day for Advent. I failed to do that that year. Perhaps because it was 197 on the list, or perhaps because Advent always sneaks up on me. Or perhaps it's because several others before me have already devised lists of verses to read every day for Advent (though that doesn't stop me from still wanting to make one on my own. It's a character flaw of mine).
Advent is the time of year that we prepare ourselves for Christmas. You can read about it on the ever-accurate Wikipedia. Wikipedia gets a bad rap a lot, but truthfully, it can be helpful when you just want to quickly get some information on something. I wouldn't recommend using it for a research paper, but for looking up what Advent is about on someone's blog...well, it's perfectly acceptable to utilize Wikipedia in this way. Anyway, plenty of churches observe Advent. Plenty of Christians observe Advent. Consumerism even does. Our Advent calendar that we've been using for the past few years was purchased at Starbucks, for example. Everyone wants to get in on the countdown (and eat candy every day until Christmas).
Anyway, it is now 2011, and I still haven't compiled a list of verses. Probably won't for this year, either. It is already the first Sunday in Advent, so time is running out, for one. For another, my school distributes an Advent devotional each we've been using (and will use) that for our daily Advent needs (that, and the Starbucks tree filled with candy for each day until Christmas...the healthier me suggested we put mixed nuts in each box, but that suggestion lost out to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups).
Our Starbucks Advent Calendar. Each day in December you find the box corresponding to the day, eat the candy in it, and turn it around to reveal a piece of a picture. The closer you get to Christmas, the more you get to see of a fun wintery scene (snow on rooftops, people sledding, etc). This will be our 6th Advent with this bad boy. Usually we try to do an Advent reading before we eat the candy.

Anyway, what are we talking about? The first Sunday of Advent is today. When our alarms went off this morning we weren't thinking of that. All we could think of was how one of us did not feel well, and could probably benefit from some more sleep. The other, being a supportive spouse, stayed back too. After waking up a little more (mainly because one of us had to go help a locked-out student who didn't read carefully when students were allowed to move back into the's not today, hindsight, I feel bad for that student, who spent their Sabbath driving back to school, when they could've spent one more day with their family. Live and learn, I guess). Anyway, after waking up more fully, I was saddened a little that we missed church on the first Sunday of Advent. So we had our own little service here on the couch. We read all of the Scriptures suggested in the devotional, then read the devotional for the day, and then listened to about 20 versions of O Come, O Come Emmanuel on Grooveshark.
Here is one of the favorites:

We missed out on fellowship that going to church would've provided (but, with being sick, and then having to have left early to help a student....perhaps the only thing we missed out on was driving back and forth to and from church). Anyway, we had the Scripture, we had the songs, we even had some prayer and a little sermonette...and later, we could even catch up on the sermon we missed at church, thanks to technology.

All that being said, Happy Advent. Hopefully you can find your way through all of your Christmas lights and shopping lists (not necessarily bad things) to make time to prepare your heart for the true meaning of Christmas, and as we wait for Jesus to someday return!
Do you have any Advent traditions? What are they? Or, why not?
(I'm trying to be more interactive on this blog, for the sake of my 2 readers).

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