Resources for Advent 2012

Advent resources 2012

Advent resources 2012

Each year I put together a new list of Advent resources. This list always builds on the previous lists that I have compiled. Here are the best of what I have discovered this year, but I would also like to know what resources you have discovered that should be added to this list

The Voice has one of the most comprehensive explanations of Advent and the symbols we use during the season. They are also a great source for the daily scriptures of the liturgical year.

The Text This Week always has an awesome array of resources.

Sojourner’s Top Ten Advent Resources for 2012 

Advent resources from Ignatian Spirituality

Christmas & Advent _ Ideas, resources and Donkey Rides

RECOMMENDED READING especially for those who know very little about Advent

  • For an evangelical perspective on practicing the liturgical year, few are better than the late Robert Webber. “Ancient-Future Time” is an easy read, with chapters on specific seasons of the year, making it a valuable reference and resource. Check it out on Amazon HERE.
  • Mark D. Robert’s ebook, “Discovering Advent”, is a short, helpful explanation of Advent. Check it out HERE.
  • Joan Chittister’s book “The Liturgical Year” is a beautiful explanation of how marking time can be a spiritual practice. Joan is a Benedictine sister and writes from that perspective, but has the modern person and not a monastic in mind. Check out her book HERE.

And resources I have listed in previous years:

Resources for Advent 2011

A couple of years ago Schoolwork.co.uk. published this great Ultimate Christmas Resource List!

Mustard Seed Associates also has a number of Advent resources available including this year’s Advent video:

You can purchase and download a high resolution copy here: Alleluia – The Christ Child Comes 

Or you may like to download the entire series of Advent videos from previous years.

And our Advent/Christmas Devotional Waiting for the Light. 

Who Is The Jesus that is Close and What is the Kingdom that He Brings Near by Tom Sine

This afternoon’s reflection comes from my husband Tom Sine, author, consultant, wonderful cook, sharer of hospitality and a a great companion on the journey towards Christ and God’s Kingdom

Who is the Jesus that is close and what is the kingdom that he brings near?

Here is my answer to this question.  It seems to me that the Jesus we meet in the gospels comes as a servant not a master.  It also seems that he invites us all to join him in the advent of a new mustard seed empire that is very different from all human empires then and now.

“Remember that this new mustard seed empire was not ushered in with pomp and circumstance.  As you know, it had its origins with a baby born in a cow stall in undistinguished village in the Roman Empire during the first century AD.  When Jesus began teaching, he announced the astonishing news that his new empire had arrived.  He made clear that it would be unlike any empire the world had ever seen.  It came on a donkey’s back.  Its “imperial council” was comprised of a handful of unemployed fisherman, a couple of IRS agents, a prostitute and some other hangers-on.  Jesus demonstrated how to wield his imperial power by washing feet, telling stories and playing with kids.  Jesus’ empire is based on the absurd values that the last should be first, losers are winners and the most influential in this empire should clean the toilets.

Jesus insisted that those who are a part of his empire shouldn’t worry about finances, but simply trust God.  The resources to run this empire were basins, towels, and any left over lunches. This empire also developed a reputation for constant partying.  What was even more concerning is that they were almost always found to be partying with the wrong kind of people.

Members of this empire are instructed to love their enemies, forgive their friends, always give twice as much as people ask of them and never pursue power or position.  Seriously, is this any way to run an empire?  Imagine what would happen if you ran a political, economic or even religious institution with these bizarre values.  Clearly, it wouldn’t have much of a future.  It might even get the leader assassinated.” Tom Sine, The New Conspirators: Creating the Future One Mustard Seed at a Time, p.120.

I would welcome your response to my reflection and discuss how, during this season of advent, should we respond to the servant Jesus and his call to seek first the mustard seed empire in a world preoccupied with the pursuit of wealth, power and position?  Tom Sine tom@msainfo.org

 

 

Second Sunday of Advent – Immanuel God Is With Us

This is a beautiful rendition of Immanuel God is With Us that seemed appropriate for this second Sunday of Advent even though it was performed originally performed to celebrate Epiphany.  Choirs of school children from Cheshire and the Wirral in Chester Cathedral singing Michael Card’s ‘Emmanuel’

 

First Thursday of Advent – Attentive to God’s Nearness by David Bayne

This morning’s post for the series Jesus is Near How do We Draw Close comes from David Bayne.  David is from Southern California, but is now blogging at Wheresdavebane from Buenos Aires,Argentina where he lives and serves with Word Made Flesh. WMF Argentina is a community called to serve and discover Jesus among vulnerable children and young adults living in poverty, many of who live and/or work on the streets of Buenos Aires.

Advent – Attentive to God’s Nearness

There is something about Advent that sparks my attentiveness. For me it is a season of refreshment and refocus. Especially in what can be a super busy time of year, I desire to make space to listen, space to be still, and space to be nourished in this season of Advent.

In her book The Liturgical Year, Joan Chittister says of Advent, “… the [liturgical] year opens with Advent, the season that teaches us to wait for what is beyond the obvious. It trains us to see what is behind the apparent. Advent makes us look for God in all those places we have, until now, ignored.” She goes on to say that Advent hones our insights and reminds us what we are waiting for. This reminds me to take time this Advent to look beyond the obvious places and pay attention to the places where God is near.

This past year the posture and practices of attentiveness offered in Ignatian spirituality have been especially significant in my life. So, it seems appropriate to carry these practices through the Advent season. Specifically, I intend to wait and pay attention to the themes of Advent using the practice of examen. The examen, based on the spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius, helps us recognize the voice and movement of God by recognizing the consolations and desolations of our lives, both the beautiful and the broken. Examen helps us look beyond the obvious and hones our attentiveness.

As I pay attention to the Advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love each week of Advent, I plan to reflect on the following questions of examen:

– Where have I seen or experienced hope (peace, joy, love) today/this week?

– Where have I not seen or experienced hope (peace, joy, love) today/this week?

As I enter this season of Advent, I desire to be more attentive to God’s nearness. I desire to draw close to God and God’s people in the recognizing the hope, peace, joy, and love in the present.


First Thursday of Advent – Drawing Close to Jesus through remembering, longing and preparing – Jeff Borden

This morning’s post for the series Jesus is Near How do We Draw Close? comes from Jeff Borden an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church of North America. He hasbeen blogging and sharing my meditations since November of 2002 at www.icrucified.com/icruciblog. The name “icrucified” is derived from Galatians 2:20 and helps me to remember that “it is no longer I that live, but it is Christ who lives within me.”he and his wife make their home in the great Pacific Northwest having recently moved from Western, NY and hail from Olympia, WA.

Advent: Drawing closer to Jesus through remembering, longing, and preparing… with hope “looking forward.”

Remembering, longing, and pondering from beginning to end. God created the heavens and the earth and it was good. And God created human beings, man and woman, then He blessed them and said:

“Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground…” Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! (Genesis 1:27-31)

It was good. It was right. It was perfect… God and man walking together in perfect unity, and it was very good. The tragedy is that we (mankind) weren’t satisfied with God’s very good. In our effort to improve His Creation (Genesis 3) we created a “fail” of epic proportion. While our nature and soul have been created with Divine and Eternal DNA (Genesis 1:27 and Ecclesiastes 3:11), we have been doomed to disease, deterioration, destruction, and death because of our disobedience and rebellion against God, our Creator-Sustainer. We have struggled…groaning laboriously for the day of reconciliation since we became outcasts and enemies of God. And so, we long for Eden…we long for true reconciliation; we long for the ultimate and eternal City of God, the New Jerusalem where God will live with and alongside man as Friend, Father, Savior, King, Creator, and Sustainer (Revelation 21:1-8). This is the hope looking forward.

Prepare

“It is while waiting for the coming of the reign of God, Advent after Advent, that we come to realize that its coming depends on us. What we do will either hasten or slow, sharpen or dim our own commitment to do our part to bring it.” Joan Chittister; The Liturgical Year.

Malachi 3:1-4 “Prepare the way… He comes to purify and refine…so they (we) may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.”

I consider how faithful I am to prepare the way for my Lord Jesus. I think, too often, we (generally) are lax, complacent, and downright lazy in our preparations. Where do we prepare…at some distant location in the future? When do we prepare; hastily, at the last minute…out of desperation? Israel had (at the time of the prophet Malachi) 400 plus years to prepare…and they still weren’t ready. Israel (at the time of John the Baptist) had several years…maybe even a decade or so; and they still weren’t ready. Our nature indicates that our own preparation leaves much to be desired.

I think “prepare the way” is repentance and with repentance we are open to receive the Spirit of the Lord to purify and cleanse us so we might receive His holy things. He is the giver of Light and our Guide in the dark. It is our responsibility to hasten His coming in our own lives through preparation… How do I prepare? I prepare with and through an attitude of repentance with desire to walk upright in purity and righteousness. I want the sacrifice of my life to be a pleasing aroma in the nostrils of my God. Prepare. This word implies it is my responsibility to make the way ready for my King…He will cleanse, He will guide, He will purify… I am given the task to prepare.

Luke 1:67-79 “Prepare the way for the Lord… He comes to give light…He comes to guide us…”

Maranatha – “Come, Lord Jesus, Come.”

“Cleans us, O Lord, from our secret faults and mercifully absolve us from our presumptuous sins, that we may receive thy holy things with a pure mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” –The Leonine Sacramentary

Wait for the Lord – Music From Taize

Here is a beautiful evening prayer and song from the Taize community in France to listen to and meditate on as we wait for the Lord this second Friday of Advent.  It seemed very appropriate as we consider What Are We Waiting for this Advent Season?