Earlier this year I decided to participate in Lent and learn more about Christian traditions/seasons/litergy…(blog posts on before and after) I was so blown over by my experiences that it has motivated me to do the same for Christmas. December brings the season of Advent as we wait the arrival of the promised Messiah and celebrate His birth.
I honestly don’t know much about Advent other than it involves a wreath and candles lit on every Sunday. Great start, eh?
So I’ve signed up on YouVersion (Love this App!!) for a daily devotional that is put out by LifeChurch.tv (just search for Advent on YouVersion and select “Rediscovering the Christmas Season” or one of the other plans). I’ve also ordered a book that will take me even farther than Advent. A friend introduced me to a book called Through the Bible, Through the Year by John Stott that takes you through Church traditions and seasons. (I used www.BookFinder.com to find a good price [another great website for book lovers!])
I’ve also found some different articles that I’ve found informative for this newbie:
Eric Metaxas in Yearning for His Coming gives a nice little overview and challenges us as we go from “Black Friday” to “Christmas.”
Noel Piper in What is Advent talks about how it’s about yearning, waiting for the Messiah’s coming.
If you’re wondering “Why should I care?”, Rob Bell wrote an appropriately named article called Why Should We Care About Advent. His use of words here definitely appealed to the musician in me and gave me some real visuals.
I’m excited to learn more and focus more on the reason for Christmas than just the joy of giving. So I challenge you to join me in rediscovering why we celebrate the birth of our Savior. I’d love to hear other traditions from you as you discover and research as well!
And so I leave you with a poem by Luci Shaw “Poem for Advent: ‘Mary’s Song’”
“Blue homespun and the bend of my breast
keep warm this small hot naked star
fallen to my arms. (Rest …
you who have had so far to come.)
Now nearness satisfies the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies
whose vigor hurled a universe. He sleeps
whose eyelids have not closed before.
His breath (so slight it seems
no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps
to sprout a world. Charmed by doves’ voices,
the whisper of straw, he dreams,
hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eyes
he is curtailed who overflowed all skies,
all years. Older than eternity, now he
is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed
to my poor planet, caught
that I might be free, blind in my womb
to know my darkness ended,
brought to this birth for me to be new-born,
and for him to see me mended
I must see him torn.”