Breathing New Life into Advent
I just finished doing the Young Years Preschool chapel time – a twice monthly time to gather with the children in our sanctuary to share scripture, song, and prayers. It is a wonderful experience to be with these children and hear their sometimes unusual but more often Spirit-filled and incredibly inspiring understanding of the Gospel. It is December and, because the children will be gone for the last couple of weeks, today we spoke of the birth of Jesus. I shared one of the multitude of nativity sets that I have and we spoke of Bethlehem, inns, stables and mangers – all words that are foreign to 3 and 4 year-olds! What a delight to watch and wait with these young ones in this season of Advent. Seeing the season through the eyes of our children is a perfect way to experience anew what many of us have done so many times.
There are many traditions that we use year after year that are near and dear to our hearts. Those treasured items or activities bring us comfort. Yet, do we forget the joy we first felt? Maybe a little twist would revive the wonder and bring new meaning to what has perhaps become a little monotonous? This is one of the reasons you will find the large nativity set at Lord of Life “wandering” the buildings. What fun it is to find each piece in a new spot each time you are at church! It also helps us remember that the characters in this great story had their own story before they all came together at Christmas. The magi traveled from afar. The shepherds were busy with flocks. Mary and Joseph were unremarkable people living ordinary lives in a overlooked little town. God brought them together for the most precious of stories ever told.
There are so many new ways in which we can breathe new life into our time of watching and waiting. Ask around and I’m sure you will hear of dozens of varieties on similar traditions. Try one on to breathe new life into your Advent. Watch, Wait, Keep Awake during this Advent Season.