December 1, 2012

Advent Basket

Advent season has begun! The Christian Calendar begins with Advent. This past week I made six Advent baskets. Our kids grew up with an Advent basket I made almost thirty years ago! They'd feel the little Advent bags I made, trying to guess what's inside, most of the items have a hardness to them with some sort of miniature item I either bought or made, and too, a slip of paper with a Scripture to read and a thought statement or question - all related to the life of Jesus - things he did, or said, etc. Well, all my kids are married now and wanting their own Advent basket. So this was the year . . . So that was three baskets.

I've been a MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) Mentor Mom for going on thirteen years. Their Christmas Brunch was this past week with an auction as a fund-raiser. So two of the baskets went to MOPS. Then a friend got the sixth basket.

Advent Baskets I made this year for my married kids and others

I should have taken a picture of all the miniatures sitting out on the table before bagging them all up! One has a pop bottle or can with the question of "Who can quench thirsts?". Another has a little loaf of bread. There's one with a piece of crumpled tin foil attempted to smooth and folded. Some have little jars of seeds and differing scriptures - like the sower and the seeds, or faith as a mustard seed . . .

Advent is the beginning of the Christian Year, and is a four week time of anticipating the coming of God in Christ in the birth of Jesus. It is our privilege to receive the gracious gift of God's presence in Christ. It is our task to prepare for his coming anew and not miss life's greatest gift.

As my lectionary prayer book says -

"We do get another chance! ... we get the opportunity to begin again. Once more the full story of God's grace is awaiting our discovery. Once more we shake off the failures and victories of the past, and we get a blank page to write the story of our companionship with God in Christ. Once more we get to listen and respond in faithfulness to the God who comes to us so humbly, intimately, and personally in the birth of Jesus ... Advent initiates once again remembering, retelling, and celebrating the whole drama of God's revelation ... Advent confronts us once again with God's unparalleled effort to communicate the message that all humankind is embraced and held close by a God of love. Jesus Christ has come, is present with us, and will come again in final victory when all darkness, pain, and evil will be no more."

Advent means "to come". It is the Feast of the Nativity called "Christ's Mass" and it goes beyond just one day of celebrating. I love the days of preparation, desiring a journey of awakening anew in a deeper way. In the remembering, rereading, and retelling the stories of 'His-story' we see that Christ was waited for and came in the past. Because the present moment is the only moment of actual living, I don't want to waste it in not being present to Christ. The past gives me strength to live well in the present. And in Christ we have the promise of a future.

A wreath is what is usually used for Advent with four candles, one to be lit each week, then a center Christ child
candle (the Light of the World) is to be lit Dec 25th. I have a pottery wreath with a water reservoir to keep little evergreen boughs fresh, and it sits on the kitchen table. The wreath started in Scandinavia as a wagon wheel - actually taken from their wagon - so they couldn't travel, and therefore wouldn't be too busy. Most years I have the more traditional colors of candles - like pink, purple and white.

Week 1 is the Prophecy candle.
The prophets foretold of Jesus' coming. They waited, hoped and trusted. In the preparations for Christmas we need to prepare our hearts; make room in our hearts for Christ to be 'reborn' in some special ways this season - as in every day, all year, every year. We need to 'make space' in our busy ordinary days so we can anticipate His presence with us.

"O Come, O Come Emmanuel"
(God with us!)

Some of the above was copy and pasted from past blogs. 2008 December in my sidebar has all the Advent Days contemplated, along with art work. 

Shared with: Simple Lives Thursday, Cultured Palate, Real Food Wednesday, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Monday Mania, Homestead Barn Hop, Fight Back Friday, Or So She Says, Six Sisters Stuff Farm Girl Blog Fest, Dandelion House
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