Advent is Almost Here

What will the days between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day be like for you?

Busy?

Will there be shopping to do? parties to prepare for? family meals to prepare? decorations to get out of the storage boxes and arrange on a tree, in the house, in the yard, and/or on the house? It could almost make one tired just thinking about what can go on during these next weeks.

On the church calendar we call most of these days Advent. The first Sunday of Advent this year comes in a few days on December 1, 2019.

So during these busy days of November and December how will you nourish your spirit?  What will Advent be for you?

This past Lent I passed on a few resources for Lenten readings and practices and I wondered if it might be worthwhile to share a couple of items as we move into Advent.

First, A few days ago I learned that Renovaré is offering a free download of a short book of meditations for Advent. What is interesting to me is that writers offer not only words for us but also images. Each of the four meditations includes a classical work of art for our reflection and meditation – visio divina – divine or sacred seeing.

To access the free download visit – https://renovare.org/books/meditations-on-the-birth-of-jesus

If you are not familiar with Renovaré (which grew out of the work of Richard Foster) this would be a good time to visit their site and explore their offerings. One such is the book A Spiritual Formation Workbook: Small Group Resources for Nurturing Christian Growth by James Bryan Smith, Lynda L. Graybeal. It has great guidelines for starting a spiritual formation group.

Next, at Praying in Color you can find resources for Advent Calendars and Advent Paper Chains and on the website learn something about what “praying in color” is about and what it might offer you.

Finally, do you like poetry? Then you should see what poems the Englewood Review of Books is offering each week that connect with the lectionary readings. The page got my full attention by posting the following quote from Walter Brueggemann –

“Freedom, justice, peace, and abiding joy [emerge]
when the poet comes, when the poet speaks,
when the preacher comes as poet.”

If you don’t think you like poetry, why not visit the page anyway. You might discover a new way of hearing the truths of Advent and the Gospel.

Take some time and see if any of these practices might nourish you this Advent.

charles

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}



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