Happy New Year!

1 12 2009

It’s officially Advent–truly, the most wonderful time of the year!  And even though my Advent got off to a less-than-holy start (we skipped church and drove all day long back to Atlanta), I’m excited about what the season has to hold (you know, in addition to moving and finding jobs and starting over again).

Over at Emerging Women, Kim Wilkens quotes from her father’s Advent Devotional: “I once met a don (professor) at Oxford University who scheduled his life according to the church’s calendar: its seasons, its saints’ days, and its liturgical hours. He refused to use or even to acknowledge the more arithmetic 12-month, numbered-day, 24-hour-subdivided Julian calendar that most of us follow. Making an appointment with him was difficult, to say the least…perhaps we might pay a bit more attention to our distinctive, somewhat countercultural church calendar. There could be some pleasantly surprising gifts awaiting us…”

Growing up, we had an Advent calendar that we hung on our refrigerator every year. Each night in December, my sister and I would take turns uncovering the day’s image. And by Christmas Eve, all the images came together to make one big Christmas picture. Even though the calendar has fallen apart (I think we finally got rid of it last year or so), the idea of the Advent calendar is one of my favorite ways to think about this season: a countdown coming a little closer to the big picture every day.   And if we will let it, each day will reveal a little bit more of that picture to us.

So one of my New Year’s resolutions is to be more intentional about following the Christian calendar in my own devotions and become more in tune with liturgical traditions.  I’m not sure what that will look like yet, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

And by the way–Julie Clawson wrote a beautiful post on the meaning of Advent: “Waiting for something beautiful to be born – for joy to fully enter your life – is hard.  The child is already there, the joy is present, but you still long for its arrival.”

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