How To Observe Advent
How to Observe Advent
The season of Advent is here and we have an incredible opportunity to tune our hearts to God in a special way. Advent is all about longings and hope. As we look forward to the hope of Jesus’ coming, we also work to acknowledge our longings and bring them to Him. Advent is not just a time to reflect, but a time to practice. We all have habits and rhythms in our lives. The question is, do these habits and rhythms draw us in to what matters most, or distract us and keep us from what matters most? If you don’t have any Advent traditions or liturgies, we wanted to offer a few suggestions to get you started. The goal of these liturgies or practices is to tune our hearts to that which is eternal and give our souls room to breath and find their rest in Jesus our Savior and King. Here are a few recommendation’s:
- Give something up. What lent is to Easter, advent is to Christmas. Fasting has often been a practice for Christians during advent. Far too often we numb or distract ourselves from that which matters most. What are the things that distract you from reflecting on your need for Jesus? Can you give something up this month to give your soul room to breath and reflect? Examples could be some kind of food or drink, technology (social media, phone, news), etc. The idea is to give up the things that distract so we can listen to the deeper longings of our hearts and of our world that only Jesus can satisfy.
- Do something new. Advent is about the light of Jesus coming into darkness. Is there something you can do to slow down and reflect on this past, present, and future hope in your life and the world? Is there a daily or weekly rhythm you could implement to tap into the meaning of Christ’s coming? Here are some simple ideas:
- Advent Wreath – The Advent wreath is an age old tradition to capture our imagination and carry us through the season. Here’s how to get started:
- Sabbath meal by candlelight – Do something weekly that allows you to unplug and think about that which matters most. This could be done as a family, or with friends. Take time to go to some deeper places in life and reflect on your own longings and hopes for the future and what Jesus’ coming means to you.
- Pray boldly for a difficult or dark place in your life. Where is there darkness in your life? Sadness in your life? Struggle in your life? These are often places we try notto think about, we get overwhelmed by the darkness of it. Advent is a time to go to these places and pray that the Lord Jesus would shine his light. It’s a time to sit in darkness and not be afraid, because we have the hope of the Light of Christ. Where is that place for you? How might you pray daily for this place in your life leading up to Christmas? It could be as simple as praying daily for your workplace, city, neighborhood, or family.
- Lectio 365. Our friends at 24/7 prayer have an incredible daily devotional app and have tailored their readings for Advent this year: https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/
- Lectio 365 for Families. The Lectio 365 folks have also put out an app to be used for family devotionals: https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectioforfamilies/
- Advent Bible Reading Plans. YouVersion has some incredible daily reading plans for Advent. This would be a good way to spend your devotional time: https://www.bible.com/search/plans?q=advent
- Advent Devotional E-Book: This advent devotional comes from Christianity Today featuring various Christian leaders and authors: https://thechurchco-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/sites/413/2022/11/CT-Advent-2022.pdf
We hope these ideas are helpful. Our prayer for the CCC church family is that our souls would be awakened to the eternal life we have in Jesus. Jesus has come for us, he comes to us today by his spirit, and he is coming again. Come Lord Jesus, Come!