Advent Intro and The 1st Sunday of Advent: HOPE

Today marks the first Sunday of Advent! Advent, at its simplest, is celebrating the coming of Jesus Christ. It’s when we remember afresh Jesus’s coming as a baby, and also look forward to when he will come again.

Advent also marks the beginning of the Christian, or church calendar.

Advent is the beginning of the Christian year, when the project of undoing time begins. One of the uses of the Christian year is to train our spiritual senses to see sacraments everywhere, at any time, to see all experiences as potentially revealing something of God to us. We can and should use Advent – waiting for Christmas – as a way of knowing God more deeply.

-Chritopher Hill, Holidays and Holy Nights: Celebrating Twelve Seasonal Festivals of the Christian Year

Here is more information on how we celebrate Advent as a family. {This year, we’ll continue to read Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas as a family, and I’ll read through  The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas on my own. Ash decided he wants to keep the Jesse Tree in his room, adding daily ornaments from InspiredTraditions on etsy each day starting December 1.} And here is a list of Favorite Advent Resources with additional ideas from The Art of Simple blog.

This year, we also plan to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas starting December 25, and ending with an Epiphany feast on January 6. More on that later! You can join us in our celebrations here for the 4 Sundays of Advent and the 12 Days of Christmas.

We celebrate each Sunday of Advent by lighting a candle, reading and reflecting on some of the church calendar readings for the day, and ending with the contemporary collect, or brief prayer, from The Book of Common Prayer.

Here is our Advent candle set up for this year.

1st Sunday of Advent: HOPE | Colibri Homestead

We do it differently each year, having fun using items we already have around our home. You can find a million ways people create Advent wreaths or set up Advent candles by googling “Advent candles” or “Advent wreath.” You’ll see some people have 5 candles, some 4, some a specific color or not. We use 4 candles of the same color, each representing a different weekly theme.

Here’s what we’ll be reading around the dinner table tonight, as we light our first candle:

The 1st Sunday of Advent is about HOPE.

Jeremiah, the prophet of hope, introduces us to the season of Advent. (source)

Jeremiah 33:14-16 reads,

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days, Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

As Christians, we believe God answered the waiting and hoping of Jeremiah and his people, Israel, by sending Christ, a wee babe who would, in time, execute a much unexpected act of justice, that of dying for the sins of all humankind. God was more than faithful to his people in their anticipation of the fulfilling of his promise, giving them even more and differently than they (or we) could have hoped or imagined. We, God’s people today, are a people in waiting too. We are longing for Christ to come again, as he promised he would. In the meantime, we trust him with the every day big & small of our daily lives, and with the needs of our community and the world. We hang onto the hope that Christ’s just and restoring return will be the end of the story, not the pain, suffering and hardship we may be enduring ourselves or see at work around us. Christ, who’s arrival as a babe we celebrate soon, remains our hope and our trust for today, tomorrow, and the unknown days until his coming. We have great hope because Christ lives and will come again!

1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2 reads,

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

As we wait for Christ, our hope, may we be known for our love. Love that does not come from ourselves or out of our own strength, but that arises from our dependence on God and his great redeeming love for us. And may we look to Christ to strengthen our hearts to do the work and live the lifestyle that he has called us to do as we wait. May we live each day in the truth and the anticipation of his return!

Prayer:

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

You can read about how two other families do Advent here and here

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2 thoughts on “Advent Intro and The 1st Sunday of Advent: HOPE

  1. Pingback: Encouragement from my favorite time of year | Colibri Homestead

  2. Pingback: Intro to the 12 Days of Christmas and Epiphany | Colibri Homestead

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