Each Christmas my parents would gather my siblings and I around the Christmas tree and read Luke 2 out loud. As we all grew, we took turns reading sections. My mom instructed us in memorizing parts of the chapter. We sang Christmas carols and went to candlelight services.
Well into my thirties, I discovered Advent.
I don't know where Advent had been hiding all my life. But it sure showed up when I needed something to be rooted in beyond sprinkles, glitter, family gatherings, and holiday parties.
Advent keeps an atmosphere of hope and perspective regardless of what kind of year it has been.
Practicing Advent is a steady focus on the One who is the reason for the season and reminds us of the unshaking beauty and hope we have, no matter what is going on.
Each season Advent refocuses our gaze from looking at what we have (or don't have) and shifts our perspective to the past, present, and future.
The Promise of Advent is Comfort & Joy for Yesterday, Today & All Our Tomorrows
My relational status, financial status, whether the career is progressing or regressing, whether the family drama is in full force or everyone is at peace: all these things things have no influence on the promise Christmas brings.
Advent is a reminder of the sweet promises we can rest in no matter what is going on.
The past – to remember and recall God's faithfulness.
The present – we all wait together with longing, and, as Christ-seekers, we wait with anticipation and expectation. The God who worked still works and is working. He doesn't stop. His faithfulness and love and patience towards all humankind continues.
The future – we are promised that just as Jesus came once as a baby, to redeem us from sin and death, He will come again to make everything right and whole and finish the good work He started.
This year, I'm releasing a YouTube video each Sunday on Advent with a creative watercolor to help cement the theme of the week in our hearts and minds. Follow the series on YouTube here
Sometimes taking a few minutes to sketch and paint helps quiet the heart and mind, allowing us to focus on something other than the daily cares and distractions. Layer your quiet painting time reflecting with some verses from the Bible, and our God who is here, and it can be a wonderful way to start the new week, or...finish a crazy week.
Take Time to Rest, Reflect & Focus
If you'd like a copy of the Advent prompts that go with the Advent calendar we made in week one, you can download a printable/savable copy here.
Regardless of the kind of year you've had, I hope you experience the wonder of the season available for all of us.
Advent: a time of hope-filled, expectant, waiting, a wonderful time of year to sink into! Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!