I share two pieces on my podcast. You can also read them, if you’d prefer. Major kudos to the readers.
I’m doing Advent my own way. Is that blasphemous? Nah. Here’s what’s happening.
I’ve never taken the time to understand what many others celebrate, this seasonal journey into Christmas Day. Advent means the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. I’m a Seventh-day Adventist, looking forward to the arrival of Jesus for the second time. That’s kinda been as far as my emphasis on Advent has gone. We Adventists aren’t a liturgical people.
Nevertheless, I have understood anticipation.
Like each Christmas morning when my dad made breakfast. It was so good. Fried dumpling (bake), achee and salt fish…the smell, the taste. Our British background means we didn’t have a culture of Thanksgiving feasting each November. We did have birthday parties, but aside from getting birthday cards with British pound notes enclosed from my grandmothers each year, there wasn’t a birthday ritual. And I use the word ritual though I guess I mean more of an “unspiritual” habit. Ritual sounds clearer, though, more intentional, more full of beauty. Our one ritual was Sabbath—sunset Friday to sunset Saturday 52 times a year. Holidays were kinda fluid, a consequence of living far from extended family.
Ritual creates stability.
Last year, I began to dip my creative toes into Advent and created an Advent Calendar for my girls. I didn’t want to buy the sort that are loaded with chocolate or toys. I wanted something that would be fun and encouraged family connection.
Funny enough, it still had a bit of consumerism sprinkled through it that my girls loved, of course, which I felt was causing us all to miss the point. How do the cute little notepads or paintable picture frame ornaments I bought them point to the birth of Jesus? Yeah, they don’t. It was still fun but it was also a ton of work. No calendar this year.
What I do have is a book on order from Amazon (just can’t beat consumerism altogether, I guess) that I’ll read to them each day. It’ll help us all better understand how Genesis fits with Mary’s song and why the birth and second coming of Jesus are necessary prophecies fulfilled.
What I do have is curiosity. I’ve begun to read up on Advent, get acquainted with this age-old ritual even though it leads us to a day on which Jesus probably wasn’t born. Technicalities aside, I think there’s a lot of good to unearth.
Plus, it never hurts to remember why the arrival of Jesus is such a big deal.
And here’s where you’ll find the 2nd piece.