Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent Project Day 4

The season of Advent marks the beginning of the Christian year. In the Western church, it begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The word Advent is from the Latin adventus, which means “coming.” It is a time of waiting and preparation, both for the celebration of Christ’s birth, and for Christ’s second coming at the end of time.
Historically, Advent, like Lent, has been a time of fasting and penitence as we wait and prepare. We in our consumer society have gotten away from this, with our need to shop and spend and indulge as we prepare for Christmas. How would fasting during this time help you to “feel” the wait before the feast that is Christmas? What is something that you would consider fasting from this season?
Take some time this Advent season to prepare for Christmas by thinking and reflecting on the coming of Christ into our world, and how that plays out in our lives.
Other Advent ideas: 
Utilize Advent candles as a reminder that Jesus is the light of our dark world. Start by lighting one candle each night for the first week, then two the second week, three the third, etc, progressively making more and more light as Christmas approaches.
Decorate for Christmas progressively and slowly. Don’t do every decoration all at once in one day, but carefully add a piece here and there so that your home is decorated by Christmas. One idea is to not place the baby Jesus in your nativity scene until Christmas. Some patient folks wait until Christmas eve to do any decorating at all.
What are some other ways that you can think of to help make this season a time of slowing down, actively waiting, and preparing?

Sunday December 2 First Sunday of Advent

Questions/Thoughts: How was waiting for the birth of Jesus similar to waiting for His return? How is it different? What are different ways that we wait for things/people/events? What are different ways that waiting can look like? What do you think active waiting looks like?

God of justice and peace,
from the heavens you rain down mercy and kindness,
that all on earth may stand in awe and wonder
before your marvelous deeds.
Raise our heads in expectation,
that we may yearn for the coming day of the Lord
and stand without blame before your Son, Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

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