The calendar date of Thanksgiving has passed.
We’ve put away the harvest decorations and brought out the winter scene. The tree is up, lit and decorated. The Nativity is in place and the candles are ready for their spark.
And even though the Thanksgiving weekend is over the season for Thanksgiving is just getting started.
Advent has begun… the anticipation of His coming.
I didn’t grow up in a tradition of celebrating the Advent season with the countdown of candles, days and devotionals. For me, Christmas was mostly the children’s production at church, the Christmas Eve service and the big Christmas morn. It was then over and the New Year began.
But there is something about taking the whole month of December and looking at it through the story lens of all that leads up to His coming.
From the very beginning, it leads to Him. His story is played out through the pages of time. God is woven in and out of the tapestry of people’s lives and events. He is continually leading people to Him through their time.
And when the fullness of time came… He came.
All those moments from the beginning, through the Old Testament, Psalms and prophets… it all leads to His coming.
He came… not in the way they imagined or what they had foreseen but in His way and in His timing.
He is still the same today.
In our lives, He comes. Not always in the way we plan or imagine but He reveals Himself in the everyday. Through His Word, His people… in His way…in His timing.
God’s fingerprints are all over time. He is throughout history and our history.
Advent is a way of looking back to look forward. As we read and remember His coming to us, we see through His plan that He is always working toward His purpose. Nothing is wasted and nothing is lost or unseen. It all weaves together through the working out of time.
This year, as a family, we are walking through Advent together.
It’s nothing really fancy or over the top but simple and easy… just how we like and need it.
For the last few years we have celebrated using Ann Voskamp’s, Jesse Tree Advent Celebration. This includes simple daily devotionals and ornaments. (My daughter in Seattle printed out her own ornaments and is celebrating Advent with her roommate and little dorm room Christmas tree until she joins us later in the season. There’s something beautiful about that…. Knowing that even though she is not here with us, she is still walking through the season with the same focus and readings. It brings a little bit of home to a faraway dorm room. I like that and it helps this Mama’s heart.)
Other ideas are:
- The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp: This is a beautiful book with small paper ornaments representing each day’s reading. The readings are short and the ornaments are simple and beautiful.
- Daily Devotionals right to your inbox for the Advent season. You can sign up here and also receive a free e-book download of “On This Holy Night.”
- Advent in Narnia – For all you Chronicles of Narnia fans, this book will take you through the season of Advent with characters and truths through the Scriptures and Narnia books.
There are many ideas out there to be found on Pinterest, Google and Bing… many of which can fit your family rhythm and schedule.
It’s not about doing it all or adding another expectation to your list of do’s but it’s slowing down and looking for the anticipated Messiah in the every day. Living out Advent is turning our attention toward His coming and our returning to Him.
I encourage you to find something that works for you and celebrate with us His coming to us.
Jump into the conversation:
- How do you celebrate this Christmas season and Advent?
- What are some favorite family traditions you do?
- What are you looking forward to the most this season?
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