This Sunday, Dr. Putnam used Psalm 98 (we sing much of this psalm in “Joy to the World”) to explain that Advent is a time of remembering what God has done throughout all of time and what He will do… it is a time to encourage each other to look for his perfect Salvation and relieving Judgment. All of creation will sing, shout, clap, and bow when Jesus returns… including you and me.
I think it’s important then, that we prepare for this glorious time! I’m just beginning to learn how the Advent season can be a wonderful intentional time of expectation. Needless to say, our little family is just beginning to develop some Advent traditions.
* So far, we have decided to “light the Advent candles” each Sunday by lighting something that will provide for an evening event. We began this tradition last year and look forward to continuing it throughout the years…
The first Sunday of Advent, we light the Christmas tree and house. The second Sunday, we light the chiminea outside, look up at the stars, and enjoy cups of hot cocoa. On the third Sunday, we light a fire in the fireplace and wrap presents or sing Christmas carols. On the fourth Sunday, we light candles at the dinner table and enjoy a special meal together.
* We also will teach our children to anticipate Jesus’ return by describing what Jesus looks like according to John’s Revelation: white hair, fire in his eyes, gold feet. Vivienne and I sing these verses to a simple tune that I concocted: “Jesus is riding a white horse! Jesus is riding a white horse! Jesus is riding a white horse; a white, white horse!” (The other verses: “Jesus’ hair is white… white like wool”, “Jesus’ eyes are like fire… like refining fire.” “Jesus’ feet are gold… pure, pure gold.” etc.) We’ve also taught Vivienne that Jesus will appear in the sky and that we are to look actively for him. I distinctly remember one afternoon when V could barely speak, she toddled by the front window, pointing to the sky, and said, “Jesus is coming! Very soon!”(Maybe you, too, know how a moment like that – when a child seems to know a secret larger than the universe can hold – sticks with a mother forever.)
* Finally, for those of you who love Scripture, ancient Christian writers, and liturgy, the wonderful Ancient Christian Devotional edited by Oden and Crosby begins with Advent and continues through the year; I highly suggest beginning this book at this time and living a year enriched by Scripture and the thoughts of ancient Christian writers who are encouraging us to run towards Christ…
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelation 1: 10 – 18
At a Hen’s Pace is hosting a carnival of Advent ideas and thoughts on November 28th. I’ll be there, looking for more valuable insights and traditions to enrich our family’s experience of looking for Him in the sky… hope to see you there! And THERE! 🙂
AND Two Square Meals is giving away an Advent book, if you’re interested! (The deadline is soon, so visit now!)