“Advent is upon us. The season of ‘hurry up and wait.’ The culture around us has been telling us it’s Christmas since early November, but what exactly are we going to do in December if it’s all done and dusted so early? Obviously there’s no point in trying to tell the whole world to slow down, it’s just yelling into the wind. So the only thing we can do is try to have a moderate take on it all in our own little part of the world. Advent, is of course, the season of preparation – the waiting and preparing for a saviour. We do this by getting ready to remember the coming of the baby Jesus. We prepare our souls for the action of the saviour in our life right now; and we prepare our hearts for the expectation of the coming of the messiah.
Now, most of us don’t keep a strict Advent in our home. We put Christmas decorations out and get the Christmas tree up sometime in December. However, perhaps amid all the “getting ready for Christmas” stuff we could also do a few “stirring up for Advent’ things to make the season more meaningful in our home.
First things first – make an Advent wreath. The Advent wreath is very Lutheran tradition of a circle of greens with four candles placed in or around them. You can make an Advent wreath out of anything, but just make sure you have four candles (have them properly secured and placed in a way they don’t burn anything: safety first!).
Second, set a dedicated time each day in Advent to reflect on the gift that God gave us – the love that was shared to all humans in the person of Jesus. Perhaps you can read some scripture and/or sing an Advent hymn.
Third, light the candle. One candle for the first week, two candles for the second week, etc. Just like we do in church. Now, I like to do my Advent time at supper time. This is a perfect time for reflection and prayer. To help you with that, I am including 5 prayers which you can use as a table grace.
Week 1: Come Lord Jesus, be our guest; let these gifts to us be blest. Keep us ever in your sight; be our joy, our hearts’ delight. Amen.
Week 2: Come Lord Jesus, be our guest; let these gifts to us be blest. May there be a goodly share on every table everywhere. Amen.
Week 3: Come Lord Jesus, be our guest; let these gifts to us be blest. Guide us on the servant’s way; lead us to your dawning day. Amen.
Week 4: Come Lord Jesus, be our guest; let these gifts to us be blest. Deep within us come to dwell that we might all your goodness tell. Amen.
December 25 – January 6 (Epiphany): Come Lord Jesus, be our guest; let these gifts to us be blest. Every day your praise we sing; help us shine the light you bring. (From Sundays & Seasons. Copyright 2018 Augsburg Fortress)
Rev. Nadine Nicholds