Saturday, November 29, 2008

The New Year (Intro to Advent Reflections)

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the season of Advent, and the start of a new year for the church-- which basically means reading from a different gospel. As part of our Christmas Conspiracy, we're making some weekly Advent reflections, which will be available in print tomorrow. We'll also be posting reflections here daily throughout the season.
We hope to see you tomorrow at the gift making party (fabulous winter squash and apple soup to follow) and wish you a blessed new liturgical year!

Here's the introduction to our meditations for Advent:

What is the season of Advent?

Within the Christian tradition, the season of Advent is typically a season of waiting and preparation. In the most traditional sense, Advent is the season of waiting for Christmas, telling the stories of those who prepared the way for the birth of Jesus, and examining how we prepare our own lives for Christ. Christian scripture contains both Jesus' own words about conscious living, as well as stories of prophets who prepared a new way. Scripture in Advent also explores the story of Mary, specifically as she learns that she is pregnant and waits to give birth. In exploring these stories and images of hope in the midst of a darkening season, we ask a larger question: what are we waiting for?

What's this reflection thing about?

Each Sunday of Advent we will list a reading, reflection, prayers, and activities focused on a specific theme related to the season. The scripture from which the theme comes will be posted along with a short prayer that is designed to be used with people of all ages. There are also some ideas for simple activities you might do throughout the week to explore the theme further. Here on the bog, we will post daily reflections with music, video and art that relate to that theme throughout the week.

Creating Advent/ Christmas space

How you celebrate the season of Advent is totally up to you. You can use these reflections to create a space in your own life to explore the questions and themes of Advent. This space might be literal—creating an altar or placing an Advent wreath at the center of your dinning room table, or it might simply mean taking time each day, or at the beginning of the week, to reflect on the theme of that week.

As you pray and reflect during the season of Advent, you join your intention with millions of others around the earth who seek to walk the way of hope and peace and life that Jesus taught.

However you prepare for Christmas this season it is our prayer that your journey leads to transformation, for you, those you love, and for your community.

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