Saturday, November 30, 2019

Welcome to Advent

Dear friends (and those who may have stumbled upon this blog), 

If you've joined me for any of the past ten years, then you are probably familiar with Advent. If you are a new reader, 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 joy-ful 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, followed by Peace, Love, and Joy. However, with so many church traditions comes a variety of names for each candle. 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 might be Prophets, Bethlehem, Shepherds, Angels; Expectation, Annunciation, Proclamation, Fulfillment; or Prophets, John the Baptist, Mary, the Magi.

This year (my first as a children's librarian), I would like to introduce us to the four candles and some main characters in the Nativity story through picture books. What I share will in no way be conclusive of all the beautiful works of illustration and literature out there, but they will help us retell the story.

For four short weeks every year, we stop and see—with amazing clarity—God’s miraculous hand shaping the trajectory of human history. I have a hard time seeing this kind of perspective in daily life. Even with the Lord’s sustaining grace, I am so often numb to the repercussions of Christ’s advent in my own life. This blog is an attempt to peel back the layers of those truths and meditate on the everlasting love God showed humanity when he sent forth His son. And as we do that together, may our hearts be directed towards the greater Advent still to come.

Let us enter this season with expectation, ever blessed by those who have paved the way. I’m glad you have chosen to join me on the journey!


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