Advent

Advent Resources

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 – Hope Draws Near

Advent tears open the night like a flash of lightning hope. It sounds an alarm, awaking us from the stupor of struggle and toil. Our world is lulled to sleep by the droning of kings, the marching of boots, and the frenzy of crisis. Not just this age, but every age. When Hebrew exiles finally…

Remembering Our Story

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…

The Door of Advent

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…

Advent Blues

The darkness closes in. Sadness, grief, loss, or some unspeakable sense of emptiness paralyzes. Each step feels like walking against the tide, pressing against of wall of nothingness. It seems easier to close the blinds. Turn over in bed. Lay in the dark. Days are shorter. Nights are longer. The whole planet has got the…

Advent – Collapse and Hope

  Collapse and Hope Rev. Doug Floyd Sun and moon turned dark. Stars falling from skies. Smoke and fire in the sky. Everything is quaking. Welcome to Advent…The beginning of the end of all things. Advent breaks into our world like a thunderclap or a meteor crashing down from the skies and reverberating across the…

Lessons & Carols

On Sunday, December 3, at 5 pm St. Brendan’s will join with Smoky Mountain Presbyterian Church, Pleasant Grove at College Street, Church of the Redeemer, and Vineyard Alcoa to kick off the Advent season. We’ll share singing carols and hear the reading of Scriptures that recount the great story of God’s redeeming action across the…

Advent Invitation

We stand at the threshold of a new year: a new cycle of remembrance and reflection. This coming Sunday marks the beginning of the Advent season and the beginning of the church year. For over 20 years, I’ve tried to write occasional meditations during this season of anticipation. For over 1500 years, the church has observed the Advent season as a time of watching and waiting for the coming of the Lord. Each year, I discover something new from this ancient well of church writings, music, art, and prayers.

As we watch and wait together, we learn afresh the meaning, the hope, the arrival of our Lord in all his glory. We learn from those saints who have gone before us, and we learn from one another as we journey together, share stories and watch for His sudden appearing. I invite you to walk with me and others in this season of watchful prayer. May we exhort one another all the more as we see the day approaching.

How do we practice Advent watching and waiting?