It seems like more and more followers of Jesus are awakening to the fact that Christmas is more than just a day. For centuries, believers have seen Christmas in the larger context of the season of Advent (which comes from the Latin word for “coming” or “arrival”). Advent begins the Sunday four weeks before Christmas week (the Sunday between November 27 and December 3; this year it’s November 30). The idea is to practice in this season the posture that the church should always be in: eager anticipation of the coming of our Lord Jesus. So we literally prepare for Christmas day in the weeks before. What I like about seeing this larger picture is that we don’t just celebrate that fact that God has come into the world in Jesus, but that he is coming again to finish the work of bringing all creation back in harmony with its Creator. Liturgical traditions like Catholics, Lutherans and Eastern Orthodox churches have recognized this season for ages, but apparently Advent isn’t just for high-church folks anymore. See this excellent article in USA Today which shows how the classic observance of Advent is going mainstream: http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/life/20081125/advent25_st.art.htm
Two helpful books are mentioned in this article. One I’m going to try reading through with the family is Nancy Guthrie’s Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas.
Here's the link for the book: http://www.amazon.com/Come-Thou-Long-Expected-Jesus-Experiencing/dp/1433501805
The other read highlighted in the article is Stormie Omartian’s, The Power of Christmas Prayer.
And the link: http://www.amazon.com/Power-Christmas-Prayer-Stormie-Omartian/dp/0736910042/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1227724927&sr=1-1
In a world where it’s easy to lose our roots and even easier for the significance of this season to get lost in consumerism, it’s refreshing to reclaim this classic practice. So, Happy Advent season my friends!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I still can't get over the fact that my creative and talented wife actually won a car! After three months of waiting, we finally picked it up this week, and yes, it's tiny. I particularly like when we park it next to SUV's, you could almost put it inside of them. But it gets crazy good gas mileage and it's good and green for God's Creation.
Way to go Melanie!