I thought last week’s post was late… this week’s was so late that we’ve inadvertently skipped a week! Welcome to the fourth and final week of Advent!
Maybe it’s appropriate for this week to be delayed a bit because of life being full. I was hoping this week to share some resources connected to the Advent Conspiracy – a church movement all about taking the focus away from consumption during Advent and instead focusing on worship, reducing spending, giving and spending time with people. There is a neat video about it: click though!
Our Advent album recommendation this week is also an Advent Conspiracy one. Mike Crawford and his Secret Siblings, from Jacob’s Well church in Kansas City, have put together a fantastic album of original advent music in honour of the Advent Conspiracy. Proceeds from the album go to supporting water access programs.
Our kids resource this week comes from Ali Beeston, who uses a couple of advent calendars to mark time during Advent with her toddler. She has some really helpful thoughts on explaining Advent and Christmas to a small child.
Other resources this week? We have a poem by Glen Scrivener – a video version as well – where you can see him delivering it performance poetry style! Also, with just a week to go until Christmas, this is the week for using the Antiphons to count down until Christmas day. You might like to use them in your personal devotions. Click through to find all the antiphons, and one of our favourite versions of O Come O Come Emmanuel – which is a musical version of all the antiphonal prayers.
Advent is not a frantic countdown to the stuffed stomachs and broken toys of Christmas. Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter; it is a time of both patient waiting and discontented longing that fuels our hope in the coming Kingdom of God. Amidst this season where our time feels so scarce, dashing from party to party and present shopping, Advent teaches us to watch, to wait, and to hope for the appearance of the one who makes all things new.
The Advent season is comprised of three aspects that you will find represented throughout the Advent Project. Firstly, Israel’s longing for an end to her exile. In Advent we join with Israel awaiting the deliverance from their sins, release from their exile, and the return of their King. We join with Israel’s prophets that proclaim this good news, and in doing so, we come to see that the story of Israel’s exile from God is part of the story of the world’s alienation from God.
“During Advent each year, the Christian year teaches us to once again become Israel, recognizing our sin and need, that waiting, longing, hoping, calling, praying for the coming of the Messiah, the advent of justice, and the in-breaking of shalom. We go through the ritual of desiring the kingdom – a kind of holy impatience – by re-enacting Israel’s longing for the coming of the King. We are called to be a people of expectancy – looking for the coming (again) of the Messiah.” – James K.A. Smith