Dear friends in Christ,
In a few weeks, we will begin our annual walk through the season of Advent. On the first Sunday of the season, we pray a lovely collect in which we ask God to give us grace to “put on the armor of light.” This phrase comes from Romans 13, which sets out the meaning as putting on Jesus Christ and not the ways of the world.
Every year I think I say the same thing: I’ve never needed Advent more than this year. With the world seemingly tearing itself apart at the seams, I need the anchor of Jesus Christ in my life. Maybe you do, too. Advent invites us to turn away from the evil and distraction of the world and toward the most important things: a life transformed by God’s grace and mercy.
Of course, you can observe Advent on your own and with your church. But you may want some support for yourself, and your church may want to provide some resources for groups and individuals. With Advent coming, now is the time to make a plan and get ready.
Forward Movement offers several ways to enrich your Advent experience. Families may especially enjoy the Advent calendar poster with cartoons by Jay Sidebotham, ready for you to add color and your personal touch. (They’re sold in bundles of 25.) Individuals or book groups may find this year’s new Advent devotional, Preparing the Way: Christian Practices for Advent, helping in navigating the seasons of Advent and Christmas with daily reflections and invitations to go deeper in Christian practice. We have plenty of other Advent resources, too. Order soon to make sure your Advent help arrives in time!
Part of my point today is to encourage the sale of the materials Forward Movement has printed. But my bigger point is to invite you to think about how you’ll enjoy the gift of Advent and to be ready to dive in to this season.
Jesus is our light. And I’m so grateful for this time to remember that and give thanks.
P.S. With the arrival of Advent, we enter a new liturgical year. Year B draws extensively from the Gospel of Mark, so you might like to read A Journey with Mark to hear this gospel afresh.
More from our ministry:
Try our online Advent devotional: AdventWord
Get your calendars for Christmas as well: Christmas. It’s a Season
Pray beautiful collects from the Book of Common Prayer, Gift Edition