The word Advent is Latin for “to come”. We use the word in the English language as an arrival of something important and so we celebrate the most important arrival. With great adoration, we celebrate the gift of the First Coming and with deep longing and expectation, we await the Second Coming of the best and merciful gift.
I did not grow up following the liturgical calendar but as my family has studied church traditions we have come to love so much of what believers before us did to honor God. Not out of necessity for sanctification but to increase wonder and remembrance.
“Earth breaks up, time drops away, In flows heaven, with it’s new day
Of endless life, when He who trod, Very man and very God,This earth in weakness, shame and pain, Dying the death whose signs remain
Up yonder on the accursed tree,—Shall come again, no more to be
Of captivity the thrall, But the one God, All in all, King of kings, Lord of lords, As His servant John received the words,“I died, and live for evermore!” -Robert Browning
Not everything we do during the Advent/ Christmas season has a religious tone but resting well with Family in truth and goodness is also a part of the goal during the month of December, so we take it slow, plan little and enjoy one another’s company as a sweet gift of God.
Our Family Advent Traditions:
Advent Family Worship– Devotional: The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper. We use this for our Family Devotional reading for the month of December. Hymn: Silent Night and Oh Come All Ye Faithful.
Advent Calendars– We are recreating this lovely calendar from Mer Mag. I may be painting stars right up till Advent Devotion tonight but what a sweet tradition. I remember growing up in Germany we had sweet little chocolate advent calendars houses and you know sweets aren’t the Gospel but the are a good gift we can rejoice that we have in this season. I haven’t decided what else to put in the star but maybe it will be a question we can ask each other at Advent Family Worship.
Ornaments for our Advent Readings– Every year we have made ornaments, whether for a Jesse Tree or for our Christmas Tree, this year, we are making encaustic (my art medium, it is pigmented wax and more) family collaboration ornaments. We are making one for each day of the Advent readings to hang on our tree.
Good Reading– Our Christmas reads this year are The Bird’s Christmas Carol, Little Women (I watched Little Women with my Mother every Christmas and since I am a book before movie person and I feel Emma is ready, we are reading Little Women for the first time together), and The Cloud of Witness (which is a daily read all year).
Joyful Work– In past years we have made jam for neighbors or screen printed ornaments for friends, we might make garland for our tree or bake a treat for someone. This is not antithetic to the rest we celebrate in the Advent season because we honor God in purposeful and joyful work and giving.
A Habit of Rest– We Protect the schedule and don’t overplan. There is time needed to awe in the wonder of the truths we hear. A culture of Black Fridays and 1 million events has allowed us to fill rest with busyness. Being busy for the sake of being busy is not good work. To do good work you must rest in goodness, beauty and truth.
What are your advent traditions new and old? Christmas is coming, Jesus is coming. Let us Adore him around our hearths and in our homes.