I’m here to say it’s not too late to enter into the fullness of Advent! Maybe because of the strange Thanksgiving holiday or just the general weirdness of this year, the start of our liturgical year snuck up on you.
As I wrote before, I’m especially grateful for Advent this year. In a year that has seemed chaotic and which has often not pushed me toward my better self, I look forward to this season devoted to repentance and preparation—getting my life and my heart ready to worship Jesus.
There are lots of ways to observe the season. Your church may have suggestions or resources or programs. If not, I have a few suggestions.
- Get yourself four candles and make an Advent wreath. The candles don’t have to be any certain color, but many people like to get candles that match the vestment colors of the four Sundays (some combination of purpose, rose, and blue). Light your wreath in the evening, perhaps as you say grace and eat dinner.
- Take on an extra prayer practice. You can pray evening prayer or compline or maybe just spend a few minutes each day telling God what’s on your heart.
- Savor some silence! It’s a rarity in our culture. Take a few minutes each day. Turn off your electronics. Ignore the phone. Just listen. Listen for the still, small voice of God.
- Read some scripture. You might want to read the daily lessons. Or ready a book of the Bible such as Isaiah or maybe one of the Gospels.
- In the opposite of silence, fill your ears with Advent song! My friend Kristen Fout made a fantastic playlist of Advent hymns, and they’re not all organ and choir. Enjoy the variety of musical styles with traditional Advent texts from The Hymnal 1982. Her Advent list is on Spotify. Because I’m an Apple person, I recreated (with a few adjustments because of availability) her Advent list on Apple Music.
- Take part in Advent Word. Each day of Advent, ponder the assigned word. Share a thought or an image on social media with hashtag #adventword.
So much of our world pulls us away from Jesus. I hope you’ll join me this Advent in letting the season pull us toward Jesus, who is our way, our truth, and our life.
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Photo by Scott Gunn
Listen to today’s Forward Day by Day reflection on the Forward Day by Day podcast. Find morning prayer on the Morning at the Office podcast and end your day with the Evening at Prayer podcast. Available anywhere you listen!
In case you missed it…
Order Now: A Journey with Mark | Forward Movement
An Introduction to Advent with Tim Schenck | ChurchNext
Gift idea: Give the gift of prayer with a Forward Day by Day subscription
Check out our interactive Advent/Christmas Catalog | Forward Movement
RenewalWorks: Connect featuring the Rev. Cannon Stephanie Spellers | December 2nd at 7pm EST