Advent reflections focus upon Scriptures and themes of Advent (see below). You can include a poem, picture, video or other element of inspiration. A good size post is about 250 words to 500 words, but they can be shorter or slightly longer. If you have a poem or quote about Advent that speaks to you and only want to write a sentence or two, that will be fine as well. If there are no pictures, I usually add pictures to each post. Please email posts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a penitential season that is undergirded by hope. It is characterized by longing for the coming of the Lord and by watching and waiting. It begins with a meditation upon the final coming of Christ and the justice of God revealed and it ends with a meditation upon the first coming of Christ in the nativity. St. Bernard of Clairvoux spoke of a third coming of Christ: in the present. The Sunday texts are more closely aligned with the rhythm of season, so I would recommend using one of them as a point of reflection.
Over the centuries, a variety of themes have been explored in this season, but all focus on the coming of the Lord. Here are a few words for reflection:
Watch and Wait.
Darkness and Light – dawn of day
Coming of Christ (Second Coming – first two weeks of Advent; First Coming – second two weeks of Advent)
Meditation upon characters of the season: John the Baptist, Mary, Wise Men, Shepherds, Joseph, Angels, prophets looking for the coming of the Lord, Simeon, and others.
Thinking about Stories of Advent – All the waiting in the Bible.
Texts for Season:
Week 1 – December 3
1 Cor 1:1-9
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Week 2 – December 10
2 Pet 3:8-18
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and the comfort of your Holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Week 3 – December 17 (Gaudete Sunday – Rejoice)
1 Thess 5:12-28
Lord Jesus Christ, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries may likewise make ready your way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at your second coming to judge the world, we may be found a people acceptable in your sight; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Week 4 – December 24
2 Sam 7:1-17
Ps 132:(1-7) 8-19
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and as we are sorely hindered by our sins from running the race that is set before us, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen
Christmas Day – December 25
Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.
Christmas 1 – December 31
Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Epiphany – Jan 6
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.