Advent is Coming

Today is the 1st of November and that means that Advent is just around the corner. I’ve been looking forward to this Advent ever since last Easter. And now it is almost here, just a few weeks away.

Last year I decided to learn more about the seasons of the church calendar and during each season I took some time to think and read what that season was really about. This year I want to start to reconfigure my life to fit and connect with each of the church seasons as they happen.

One of the first steps I’m taking towards that is the art exhibit I am putting together for Advent. Each of the artists will be creating art work that portrays Light in some way as a means for us to tangibly anticipate and celebrate the “light coming back.”

Under communism the Czech people weren’t suppose to celebrate Christmas. Christmas was down played, while the winter solstice was emphasized. They celebrated the fact that in December the light started to change and light started to come back into the world. But, that is also what we celebrate with Christmas and look forward to over Advent – the “Life-Light”, as Peterson calls Jesus in The Message, is coming into the world. Jesus himself says in John 8, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This year I want to enter Advent as a season of Light – remembering and anticipating at the same time that Jesus, the Life-Light, has come and is coming and will come again.

I plan on focusing and carrying this theme of light out throughout Advent. I would like to have a time of silent, dark prayer on November 30th - really engaging in and recognizing the feeling of being in complete darkness and what it means to have light come into the world. I will also be lighting an advent wreath this year and witnessing with each passing week the lighting of an additional candle and experiencing tangibly a growing light as I anticipate the celebration of Jesus birth.

These are just a few ways that I plan on entering into  the anticipation of the Life-Light, Jesus, coming into the world. These are ways that I plan on engaging in Advent. I would love to hear how you and your family are going to engage in Advent this year. Please feel free to tell me about your advent traditions (old and new) in the comments.

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman

Photograph by Beth Stedman