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An Advent Approach

Advent is quickly approaching.

Here is a thought: it is common for us to discipline ourselves during Lent with a special project, in order to prepare for all the festivities of Holy Week.

What about Advent?  Have we ever considered a special discipline for Advent?

  • That is, other than “figgy” puddings, Christmas cakes soaking with rum for the Christmas Eve supper and to bring in the new year.
  • Oh yes, what about the writing of Christmas cards, and all the shopping trips?

  • Or, we could be thinking of  "buying"  a farm, farm animals, or garden seeds, via a well-intended NGO's menu-offering of a variety of items, such as seen in the recent PWRDF publication?  Certainly, these are all good causes.

I am thinking of something more spiritual.  Here is an idea for each of us to participate in.

Nearly each week, for the last 30 + years, I have prepared sermons with the Revised Common Lectionary as a guide.

The lectionary is divided into three years: Years A, B, C.
The result being, I have read through each year 10 times.
In each of those times, I have read an Old Testament Lesson, a Psalm, an Epistle, and a Gospel. In each 3-year period, this has amounted to reading a goodly portion of the Bible.

The incredible experience is, that each time, I have seen something new, experienced a changed reflection, or have discovered new themes. Thankfully, it's a task I have never grown tired of.

Reflecting on the week(s) I have not preached, has been to discover a colleague's interpretation on those same readings. A gift indeed.

This brings me to the task at hand:

I encourage each of us to select a book of the Bible, to read through during Advent 2022.

In reading, take your time.
Please, do not sit down and read it through in one sitting.

Read one chapter at a time, then take time to reflect upon it.
You may even want to journal your thoughts for the day.
In seminary, our professor gave us a "reading and journalling task' which included recording these observations for each day:

1. The temperature and if the day was sunshine, cloud or rain or snow
2. A news item that touched you (negative or positive).
3. A few words from a personal encounter for the day.
4. Who you were reminded to pray for that day.
5. Return to the chapter just read, and write your reflection.

On Boxing Day, resisting the temptation of the 'Boxing Day Sales', read through your Advent Journal. What have you discovered? Feel free to share your discoveries with someone.

Blessing in preparing for Advent,
Archdeacon Brian+

PS: Depending on the Bible Book chosen, you may need to read more than one chapter per day--to finish the reading by December 24th. (Remember those division exercises with OLD Math!)