As the first season of the church year, Advent is always an invitation to begin again. What grace, especially this year!
It feels a bit strange to be sharing Advent resources on December 10, but in many ways, it's also fitting for the kind of year we've experienced. I've never held light so closely, and this year I've especially looked forward to the familiar sounds, smells, and traditions of the season even though they look a bit different this time around.
You may already have your Advent wreath out, your favorite music playing, and perhaps a few more decorations are starting to appear. At our house, we have the tree up and strung with lights, our Advent candles and calendar set up, and a fresh evergreen wreath on the front door. Mischief from our Star from Afar and Stable Animals is in full swing (to my seven-year-old daughter's delight) and special books for the season are tucked into every nook and cranny.
We'll get around to ornaments on the tree as time permits, continuing our decorating slowly because we're in no hurry for our preparations to be over. We have the whole season to really revel in them.
Maybe you started your Advent traditions a bit late this year, as I did. Maybe you haven't had a chance to start them at all and are at a loss where to begin. Advent is a time to slow down, to act purposefully, to believe that we're never too late.
I'm aching for in-person church services this year, but the ache seems oddly appropriate. I miss the church decked out in greenery with Chrismon glittering from spruce boughs and the sound of a community of voices raised in song. But we're raising our voices around the kitchen table instead, and those Advent hymns of hope, and longing, and waiting are especially poignant right now—a reminder that Advent is the story of light slowly coming into our darkness.
We trust that God is at work in the darkness, coming near to us in what will eventually be a breathtaking revelation. In the meantime we wait, we hope, we long, and we pray. We trust that the Light is coming, and when it arrives all our waiting will have been worth it.
What traditions are you crafting (or recrafting) for Advent this year, new or long-held? We'd love to hear about them. We're sharing some of our favorite Advent resources below. If you want more ideas and resources created and/or curated by our kindreds, you can find them here.
Waiting alongside you,