Saturday, December 1, 2012

From the Advent and Christmas Archives

In addition to this year's Advent reflection, the following Advent/Christmas-themed articles have been published in the past two years on this blog.   I decided to share them again in hopes that you might find them worth pondering anew—or perhaps for the first time!—in the days leading up to Christmas.  Even if you’ve read them before, perhaps they’ll impact you in a different way this go-round the liturgical calendar.  Enjoy!! Have a blessed Advent and Christmas.  —ABW

Advent Writings

·      With Us on Unplanned Journeys.  Have you ever had to take an unplanned journey or go somewhere against your will?  Perhaps you “there” right now?  Then you may appreciate the situation Mary & Joseph faced leading up to their son’s birth—a difficult journey in every sense.  But despite all the fear and uncertainty, they remain faithful and obedient—and God is with them and works through them to accomplish God’s purpose.

The Traditional Advent Wreath.
Most Christian churches will have a wreath like this on the altar during Advent.
The purple and pink candles are lit on the four Sundays preceding Christmas—
a single candle the first week, two candles the next, and so on...
 The pink candle is usually lit on "Mary's Sunday"—commemorating Joy or Love.
The white "Christ Candle" in the middle is lit on Christmas Eve and/or Day
—along with all the others—then by itself for two Sundays after Christmas.
·      Embracing Our Christmas Stains.  Every year, as we prepare our hearts and homes for the Holidays. We “scrub and scrub,” trying to make things look perfect to all outside observers—at home and at church.  But in doing so, do we miss the whole point God is trying to make in sending Christ to Earth?  Are “stains” somehow an indelible part of our God-given identity?

·      The Edge of Glory.  At first glance, Lady GaGa and Mary, the Mother of God, would seem about as different as two women could possibly be. And of course, separated by two millennia, they obviously are.  But a closer look at the meaning behind the lyrics to one of the pop star’s most famous songs reveals an unexpected Advent connection.  (Note: This article was slightly updated this year.)

Christmas Day/Eve Reflection

·      Light Up the Patches of Darkness.  We adorn our Christmas trees with strands of beautiful lights seeking to even out the lights so we cover all the “dark patches” on the tree.  Should the “spreading out of the light on our trees to cover all the dark places” be a metaphor for our Christian life?  Followers of Christ should bring light to the all the “dark places” of our world—each in our own unique way!

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