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 1 (December 2) – Zech 14:1-9, 50:1-6, 1 Thess 3:6-13, Luke 21:25-33
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).
- Advent of the Heart – Alfred Delp
- Advent – Fleming Rutledge (this is new but what I’ve read so far is stunning.)
- Advent with Evelyn Underhill – Christopher Webber
- Kneeling in Bethlehem – Ann Weems
- God is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Here are a few albums that often help me to pause, quiet my heart and reflect during this season.
- Advent at Ephesus (Benedictines Of Mary, Queen Of Apostles)
- Advent – Young Oceans
- Advent Volumes 1 and 2 – The Brilliance
- And Winter Came – Enya
- A Tapestry of Carols – Maddy Prior