Sunday, November 27, 2016

Welcome to Advent

Dear friends (and those who may have stumbled upon this blog),    
If you've joined me the last few years, you are probably familiar with Advent. But for any new readers, this will serve as an introduction:  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. 

The first candle is traditionally the candle of Hope. The remaining three candles of Advent may be associated with different aspects of the Advent story in different churches, or even in different years. Usually they are organized around characters or themes as a way to unfold the story and direct attention to the celebrations and worship in the season. So, the sequence for the remaining three Sundays might be Bethlehem, Shepherds, Angels. Or Peace, Joy, and Love; John the Baptist, Mary, the Magi; the Annunciation, Proclamation, Fulfillment.

Each year I try to do something a little different. This year, I want to focus the four weeks of Advent on the themes of the Prophets, Bethlehem, the Shepherds, and the Angels. This decision came after discovering the works of Lilias Trotter, an artist and missionary to Algeria at the end of the 19th Century, as well as a blog devoted to reflections on Trotter’s art and writings. Having experienced life among people and places very similar to those at the time of Jesus’ birth, her perspective is a great starting point for remembering the factual, and acknowledging the symbolic as we reflect on Christ’ lineage of expectation.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.