I regret to admit that I have never really recognized (observed?) Advent – and I’m realizing I’ve missed out. This year, I picked up a great Advent devotional compiled by Nancy Guthrie and I highly recommend it. I guess I’ve always thought Advent was just a weird element of liturgy or something mysterious…but it’s this entire season of awaiting the birth of Christ, and I’m seeing that taking part in the process of awaiting this uber-ultra-mega-ultimately-momentous arrival is a gift of grace.
I’m about to go buy candles and a wreath. (0h – gift idea 🙂 )
I am prepared to tell you that it will utterly change your Christmas season and that it’s not too late to start celebrating the Advent season. Even if you don’t rush out and purchase this devotional, I’m confident you can find readings online or through your church, and it will be for your joy however you go about it. If you’re not convinced, here’s a little snippet of what I’m reading and enjoying and celebrating:
Christmas is the end of thinking you are better than someone else, because Christmas is telling you that you could never get to heaven on your own. God had to come to you. (Adapted from “Mary,” sermon by Tim Keller, 2001.
(on the Holy Spirit)… Christian spiritual experience is not a vague religious emotion. It is an emotion with objective content, and the content is Jesus Christ. The shy member of the Trinity does mighty work, but he never puts himself in the limelight. You might say he is the limelight that puts the attributes of God the Father and the person of Christ into sharp relief. (Adapted from “Christ conceived by the Holy Spirit,” sermon by John Piper, 1984).
I just thought you should know what you’re missing. This is big, and lovely.
How will you celebrate?