Advent in an unprecedented season
“At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God’s own love and concern.” – Mother Teresa, Love: A Fruit Always in Season
Advent, in an unprecedented season, calls us forth into a time of longing, hope and promise. It’s a period of waiting and a journey of reflection. Never before, or at least in my lifetime, have we experienced so much uncertainty.
Will I be able to gather with my family and friends, or will I be in lockdown? Will the shops even be open? What’s going to happen next week? How am I going to prepare for 2021? So much uncertainty. The days certainly feel dark. At the risk of sounding too abstract, I do believe we can shine a light around us. We can yield to living with hope, we can love others (and ourselves) and we can pray.
In this unique season of Advent, let’s turn towards hoping for a new dawn. Turn our hearts towards those we love, and turn our hearts towards the Lord.
It simply means ‘Coming’ in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. The weeks are used to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas. On the first four Sundays before Christmas, we remember Isaiah and prophets as they predict the first coming of Jesus, Mary, the mother of Jesus and the words of John the Baptist and Jesus. You can help your children reflect on the meaning of ‘coming’ in a variety of ways. Firstly, explain the prophecies about Jesus and how He came to earth. Then, talk to them about Jesus now in our lives and what it means to follow Him. Finally, speak of the second return of Jesus and what they can look forward to.
Let’s pause to reflect
Advent is indeed an invitation to reflect, to hope and to retreat for a while. It helps us focus our scattered senses and return to calm. It is also a season for building family memories. Make them special by cooking a delicious meal, lighting a candle and talking through the various promises. Or, be a part of an Advent service in a local church or online.
A few quotes and resources for you during this season
Download this FREE ADVENT CALENDAR OF KINDNESS, print it out and challenge one another to enjoy it. I’ve created it especially for you.
Secondly, my family and I enjoy the Lectio365 devotional app. You can also download it for free here.
And finally, read these quotes and passages to add to the remembering of Advent.
Don’t think that love, to be true, has to be extraordinary. What is necessary is to continue to love. How does a lamp burn, if it is not by the continuous feeding of little drops of oil? When there is no oil, there is no light and the bridegroom will say: “I do not know you”. Dear friends, what are our drops of oil in our lamps? They are the small things from every day life: the joy, the generosity, the little good things, the humility and the patience. A simple thought for someone else. Our way to be silent, to listen, to forgive, to speak and to act. That are the real drops of oil that make our lamps burn vividly our whole life. Don’t look for Jesus far away, He is not there. He is in you, take care of your lamp and you will see Him.” Mother Teresa.
“God gives God. That is the gift God always ultimately gives. Because nothing is greater and we have no greater need, God gives God. God gives God, and we only need to slow long enough to unwrap the greatest Gift with our time: time in His Word, time in His presence, time at His feet.” – Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
“But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” – Galatians 4:4-8
“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.” – Psalm 29:11
May this season of Advent and preparing for 2021, be full of hope.