9 12 2008

Hey guys,


So it’s the first week of December, Christmas is in full swing, the busyness of getting everything done is upon us…oh and by the way it’s the season of Advent too.  I don’t know how familiar you are with the season of Advent.  For me it brings back memories of Advent Calendars filled with chocolate, the hanging of the greens at church, and hoping I’d get to light a candle on the Advent wreath.   What comes to your mind when you think of Advent? 


The season of Advent is in many churches the beginning of their church calendar and the beginning of their liturgical year.  It is the period of expectant waiting and preparation for Christ Jesus to come. 


Expectant Waiting and Preparation…


In the midst of your busyness take time to prepare for Christmas.  Prepare your heart.  Wait on the Lord and listen with expectancy. 


Some resources to help you celebrate Advent:

*O Come, O Come Emmanuel by Sufjan Stevens


*Online Advent Calendars

Do a google search of Online Advent Calendars and you’ll have many options.  Here’s a fun one I’ve been enjoying.


*The Ignatian Examen

The Jesuit priests follow a series of exercises laid out in the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola.  They have a series of meditations, prayers and questions of examen that they use to guide them and enhance and strengthen their spiritual walks.  Now I’m not recommending that you all become Jesuit priests but some Irish Jesuits have put together an online prayer site that walks individuals through a daily examen that is quick and easy and can help as you prepare your heart for Christmas.

This time last year in Germany , I was delighted to find Advent calendars in the shops. They count off the days of waiting and praying for Jesus’ coming – which is what Advent means. In most of the West, every evening’s television reminds us how many shopping days are left before Christmas. Suppose we take these advertisements as a call to pray rather than to purchase. I’ll put myself in the mind of Mary and Joseph, focused on the expected baby, wondering what he will be like and how he will affect my life. Try imagining the preparation that Mary made. She spent three months helping her cousin Elizabeth with an unexpected pregnancy. Then she had to face the awful crisis with Joseph, who could not understand how his fiancée could be pregnant (Matthew 1:19). Then when things seemed to be on an even course for the birth, she found they had to pull up roots, harness the donkey, and trek up to Bethlehem , where they could find no room in the inn. Mary’s main preparation was adjusting to the unexpected and unwished-for. The best patron for Christmas is the quiet and imperturbable Joseph. (Sacred Space)


If you haven’t gotten registered yet for our upcoming Sundesmos Winter Retreat get it done!  If you get it done this week I’ll still let you pay the $25 fee.


Have a great week!  Praying for you!


To the King!





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