Christmas lights are popping up in the neighborhood and holiday tunes dance through the stores. It’s time for the yearly gluttony of eating and buying. It’s also time for Advent, a season of repentance, focused on watching and waiting for the coming of the Lord. The call to devotion and the call to consume compete…
When I was little, we hung Advent calendars with little doors that opened for each day leading to Christmas. Then one day I stepped through one of those little doors. It was like stepping into a giant house. When I really discovered Advent, I discovered the church year and a way of walking through days…
One of the best ways to enter into the rhythm of Advent is to sit still with the weekly lectionary readings. I like to read and revisit these readings each day, taking time to pray them, imagine them, listen to them. This helps me to develop the posture of watching and waiting. Below are the readings for all for weeks as well as a few recommendations for reading, watching, and listening.
Advent 2 (December 9) – Mal 3:1-5, Ps 126, 1 Cor 4:1-21, Luke 3:1-6
Advent 3 (December 16) – Zeph 3:14-20, Ps 85, Phil 4:4-9, Luke 3:7-20
Advent 4 (December 23) – Mic 5:2-5a, Ps 80:1-7, Heb 10:1-10, Luke 1:39-56
One of the earliest books I read on Advent, was a selection of poems from Ann Weems. Her conversational poems speak to our human longing and struggle to pause before the mystery of God’s coming. Alfred Delp and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s sermons were written from Nazi prisons and carry the weight of a soul waiting for human judgment while looking for the coming of God in Christ. There are some paintings from across the ages that explore the nativity. One quick way to get started is by looking at Nativity on Wikiart (some pictures are not relevant but most are).