upper room daily devotions

Sunday, December 03, 2006

advent's here

I love this photo by Ben Bell. Advent is here and I actually should be in bed resting before worship tomorrow. I'm going to be wasted; I was up late trying to write a sermon that would capture the thoughts rambling around in my head. I won't know until after tomorrow if I succeeded or not. I'm often quite wrong about my sermons - whether they'll connect or not.

Advent is a fave liturgical season for me - much more interesting than Christmas. I wish Protestants wouldn't skip right over the fast of Advent and gorge on the crazy abundance of Christmas. For many of us, Advent is a great reminder to slow the heck down, to find Sabbath again, to rest in God, to remember that Christmas is about the birth of justice and righteousness, to prepare our hearts for God Among Us, to find the quiet center, to savor anticipation, to delight in God's joy, and to labor in God's work.

I love the rituals and songs of Advent, too. I love my Advent calendar. I just got a new one. It's a wooden house with different animals inside. Each day you take out a new animal and hang it on the day's door. At the church I have a manger calendar that's magnetic. Each day supplies a new part of the nativity story. It's great. I also love my Advent wreath. It's smack in the middle of my dining table. I use purple candles; I haven't been able to make the switch to blue. I get that blue symbolizes hope, but I still find meaning in remembering God's dominion over the earth, which is symbolized by the purple.

Happy Advent! I hope we all find a little quiet in the over-commercialized, shopping frenzy that has eaten up the days that used to be Advent. I hope we all find a little bit of the fast that lies at the heart of Advent so that the miracle of Christmas holds some actual meaning. I'm going to bed...

5 comments:

RevErikaG said...

hope you got some sleep! I too, am a BIG fan of Advent. Why is it that our church culture cannot embrace it the way us clergy-types have? I like to think that some things are worth waiting for...I feel that way about incarnation....and yet church people want to skip Advent and do a month of "Christ is born today." Do you only sing Advent songs during Advent? I've tried that in the past....and got a lot flack for it....Here's to keeping the watch!

rev katie m ladd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RevErikaG said...

I'm impressed, Katie, that you can hold off the restless natives from singing...I've been at this awhile now, and discovered that if I ease them into it, I still get to sing some of my fave Advent songs (oh, the dark into light, oh, the hope....) and try and keep the born today ones until closer thereto. A total, but fun aside-- on itunes under "holiday" music-- they have a button you can click for "advent music." That rocks! Thanks for the 411 on the Saffron piece...I shall seek it out...hee hee...

rev katie m ladd said...

I'll check out itunes under Advent. Thanks.

rev katie m ladd said...

Thanks for the comment! I don't know why more people don't get into Advent. I have to admit, though, that I listen to Christmas music outside of church (even during Advent). My favorite this season is "A Star Over Bethlehem" with James Shaffron and the Chorus and Orchestra of the Choral Arts Society of Washington. Wonderful! Back to your questions, though: In theory we don't sing Christmas songs during Advent at church, although we break the rule for the Christmas pageant and the choir sings Christmas songs during their cantata Sunday. But, in general, we wait...there's a little grumbling, but I can handle it.

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