Consider this… Advent Brought Home

Dec 1, 2022

It’s the time of year in which we make our lists and we check them twice.  Personally, I live off of To-Do Lists and Post-It Notes.  If it doesn’t make it onto my electronic calendar or my weekly     To-Do List, well, good luck!  So, for ourselves, when we look at our own lists, let’s make sure we check them twice to make sure these spiritual things are taken care of or the meaning of the season may pass us by.  In addition to those things going on in our parish as listed in the bulletin, here some ideas to help us get ready for welcoming Jesus into our lives:

Advent Calendar: I mentioned I live off of Post-it Notes and the calendar.  There are all sorts of Advent calendars to help us count down the days until Christmas, Lego calendars, candy  calendars, Christmas chains, and the like, helping us to get

excited, to get ready, to realize that the time is drawing near.  Put up a count-down calendar and count down the days together.

Advent Wreath: one of my fond memories of praying together as a family happened during the Advent season, in which instead of praying with Mom and Dad in our rooms before going to bed, we pulled out the advent wreath, sat around the kitchen table in the night, and read through various Scripture passages and reflections of Jesus’ coming by candlelight.  Find a different way to pray this advent.

St. Nicolas: The inspiration of Santa Claus.  His feast day is coming up this week, December 6th.  Learn about this great saint from the 3rd century and his generosity towards others, especially the poor.  We know that there are many people who struggle and who find the holidays difficult.  In the spirit of St. Nicholas, reach out to someone you know who may be grieving and maybe even share some of your baking and cookies with them.  This is the weekend in which bring our gifts for the Giving Trees at Church for those who otherwise would not be receiving any Christmas presents.  This coming week we can get hats, gloves, and winter clothing and put them under the trees to make sure those in need can stay warm.  Helping and serving others helps us understand what Christ’s coming is all about.  Like St. Nicholas, do something for those less fortunate this Advent season so that they can find some joy.

Manger Scene: We do lots of decorating at home.  Put up a manger scene also so as to celebrate Jesus’ coming at Christmas (and put Jesus in his crib on Christmas Day).  We will bless the baby Jesus figurines that will be used in our Christmas mangers next weekend, and we will bless our Church’s manger on December 16th.  Moreover, instead of Elf on the Shelf, bring the Holy Family with Mary and Joseph throughout the house closer and closer to our own “Bethlehem.”  Decorate with the symbols of our faith.

Cards: We send cards at this time of year, many of which contain our adventures from the past year.  To help us keep Christ in          Christmas, remember to send religious-themed cards and, in addition to all the good things we share about ourselves, share with them also how good God has been to you.  Indeed, God has been working in peoples’ lives throughout all of salvation history, which is why many people put up a Jesse Tree this advent season reflecting on the figures of biblical history leading up to Jesus’ coming.  Communicate the story of Christ’s coming this season.

Expression: We know that there are many Christmas Songs filling the air right now, and of course we would love to hear them during the actual season of Christmas, but there are some great Advent songs too.  A Great Hymn is “Waiting in Silence”.  My favorite remix is “Immanuel” by Tony Anderson.  Even in the secular sense, I would characterize “Better Days” by the Goo Goo Dolls or “Grown Up  Christmas List” by Amy Grant as more Advent-y than Christmas-y kind of songs.  There are many others of course.  As a season, Advent helps us to look forward to Christ’s coming, and gives us the opportunity to dream.  Even if music isn’t your thing, give expression to the deepest hopes and desires of your heart, perhaps by journaling or through art.  All these things will teach us to long for God more fully in our lives.

Open up the doors of your home to Jesus this season – Happy Advent…

Peace,

~Fr. Luke