Sunday, November 28, 2010

A re-introduction to Advent and "Lineage of Expectation"

Dear friends,

If you joined me last year, you are surely familiar with Advent. But for those new readers, this reintroduction will serve as an education.

In latin the word "adventus" means "coming." Within the context of western Christianity, Advent is the season of four weeks leading up to Christmas--the celebration of Christ's birth. It is a time of joyful expectation and preparation. The four weeks are marked by the four Sundays, on which the candles of the Advent wreath are lit. Each week/candle carries a theme: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.

I will be writing within these themes, focusing on poems and reflections from some of the great writers in Christendom, as well as passages of Scripture that point to the coming of the Messiah. Christ's ancestry was indeed a Lineage of Expectation--a chronology of hopeful longing and preparation.

Last year I found this prayer by Henri Nouwen. It's such a good start to the Advent season that I couldn't resist posting it again. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find the origins of its publication. If anyone knows where this prayer originated, please let me know.

Advent prayer by Henri Nouwen.

Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!"

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