Advent is a Latin word which means “coming” or “beginning.”
I grew up in a church that observed the liturgical calendar. But to be honest, many of the traditions and rituals were lost on me. I knew what I was supposed to do, at what point in the service, but I didn’t know why.
In college I started attending non-denominational churches, which often didn’t follow the liturgical calendar. For a time, the break from traditions was good for me: it allowed me to make sure my “religious actions” came from my own faith, not just because it was the right time of the service (or year) to do that particular thing.
But in the past few years I’ve been rediscovering the rhythms of the church calendar. I’m seeing these traditions – that used to have limited meaning for me – in a whole new light. I’m finding out how the rituals are steeped in significance and are really useful for focusing your heart and mind on God and learning more about Him.
To help me anticipate Christmas this year, I’ve been reading “A Jesus Advent Celebration” by Ann Voskamp. It’s wonderful – every day has a short scripture reading that shows how history was pointing to Jesus long before He was born. She writes a brief commentary and includes a small exercise or application point.
Here are a few reasons I think you should check it out:
- It’s accessible – she includes the day’s scripture right there. And she is a gifted writer, painting pictures with her words in the commentary portion
- It’s short – it takes me about 10 minutes each day
- It helps me keep the true meaning of Christmas as my focus
- It’s free! She’s giving it away!
Check it out!
ps – don’t have any concern that you are “starting late” – we’re not even halfway through Advent. Just jump in today. Or - read two per day till you catch up if you're worried about missing anything.