The church I attended while growing up adhered to the church calendar.
I especially looked forward to the Advent season, the slow procession
Each Sunday leading to Christmas, a member or a family would
read a scripture related to each week’s theme and light one of the candles
circling the wreath.
With held breaths, the candlelit Christmas Eve service would
begin with high school students presiding over the evening.
As children, we waited to reach the magical age of the teen years
and take charge of the church for an hour.
As adults, I hope we can wait with similar anticipation of the
unfolding season of Christmas.
Tomorrow, when I open my devotional books,
I will begin on page one.
Advent means coming or arrival and Sunday
marks the beginning of the church calendar year.
With all the promise of new
beginnings, they can create a tendency to overload
our to-do list.
Personally, I have done a bit of thinking and
am determined to put on an attitude of waiting
and only do 1 or 2 things during this season.
I went to a DIY craft fair with a friend last week
and saw dozens of great ideas, I am only
choosing one or two crafts and the same
goes for food items.
Believe me, I want to make 90% of the offerings,
but in this instance less means more time for other endeavors.
I reflected on my intentions regarding Advent calendars and
came to the conclusion that 24 days of doing anything is
a challenge during a busy Christmas season.
We always fall behind and I feel like a failure.
We are doing a stripped down version this year
a la 12 days of Christmas.
I audibly exhaled after making this decision.
Why do I often take activities designed to bring
joy and make them a burden?
As far as Advent reading, I can be so prone to
want to read every. single. book.
This year I will continue with my normal readings
and add this one and nothing else.
The following are a few other options you
might enjoy as well:
YouVersion (multiple options and lengths)
In 2006, our pastor joined with 5 other pastors
to develop the Advent Conspiracy .
You can read more about it here.
In simplest terms it is a clarion call to
Give More, Spend Less.
We decided to revamp our Christmas list
for each member of
our family to fill out this year:
- Something you need
- Something you want
- Something to wear
- Something to do
- Something to read
- Someone to bless who is in need
- A charitable activity to do as a family
- The one movie I must see before the holidays end
- The favorite holiday treat I must eat
- My favorite holiday activity to do as a family
- My favorite holiday tradition
- A game I want to play with the family
Our hope is there will only be one or
two items under the “me” categories and
many more than one or two ideas under the
family and others categories.
That’s our intention.
That’s our plan.
Let’s welcome Advent with waiting
and extending ourselves on behalf of
others and not merely overextending
Oh and yes by all means exhale a lot
by only adding that which brings meaning
and exercising your right to say “no thank you.”