Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Advent Thoughts

I grew up in the Baptist Church which is about as far from a liturgical church as possible!  Then I married my husband who grew up in the Methodist faith and we joined a Methodist church as newlyweds. I loved the liturgy of the church and it really met a need for me.  Over the years we have gone to Baptist churches, Alliance churches and finally ended up in the Bible church here in Decatur. Being non denominational, I would describe our church as close to Presbyterian in practice but without the liturgy.  But just because my church does not acknowledge the seasons of the church, does not mean that I cannot participate in Advent in my own way.

Several years ago I became familiar with Father Robert Barron. You may have seen his program on the Catholic faith on PBS. It was very informative. I began following Father Barron's Word on Fire website and for the last two years I have subscribed to his Advent and Lenten Devotions.  I look forward to his emails each morning during Advent and Lent and I know it has helped to prepare my heart for the two biggest celebrations in the Christian Church.  If you are looking for Advent devotions I suggest you check out Word on Fire.

My blog friend, Dawn, at Sun and Candlelight also celebrates the season of the church and she has some good ideas for ways to make advent a family affair. She is such a lovely lady and I have read her blog since her boys were small! I must admit I have borrowed some of her ideas over the years.

One of my friends here in Decatur stated that she is doing Advent a bit differently this year. She is putting aside Facebook for Advent so she can fully focus on the season.

One of the ways Marvin and I celebrate Advent is by participating in our Sunday School Class service project. Each year our class holds a party for some young women in a local ministry. These young women are working to get their lives back on track after making some poor decisions. The ladies of our ABF provide party foods and gifts. One young lady told me that the party reminded her of how special her own grandmother had made Christmas for her as a young girl. Another shared with me that no one had ever asked her what she wanted for Christmas. We ask them to give us a Wish List and we get some of the things listed! It is humbling to me as I realize just how God has blessed me throughout my life.

So today I am meditating on the thought I posted above from the Catholic Almanac. As we await Christmas and the celebration of his birth, we must remember that He is coming again. As I look at the world today, that reassurance is very comforting.


Terri D said...

I enjoyed your post!! We are celebrating Advent with daily devotions at our Advent Wreath, lighting the candle(s) as the weeks progress. I grew up in the Methodist church and am Catholic now.

Linda said...

Arlene, this is such a beautiful post! We are Methodist and I am like you - I was a Baptist for 57 years! I love the Advent traditions and when my children were small we had advent trees and calendars and such. I have missed the last two Sundays at church so I am looking forward to seeing it all decorated. Last year I helped with the Hanging of the Greens. For two years we were members of First Christian Church and the Advent and Lent traditions were totally new to me from a church experience.
Merry Christmas!!! It IS December first!

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Terri, I have always been drawn to the Catholic Church and I enjoy watching EWTN on tv. We live not too far from the cathedral in Hanceville.It is one of my favorite places in NoAla. Linda, I am thankful for my Baptist heritage.I know so much of the Bible due to Sunday School teachers and good pastors. But the liturgy speaks to me as I know I am one in a long line of Christians who have said the same words centuries.

Anonymous said...

Arlene, such a lovely post! It made me think of lighting the advent wreath at the Catholic Bible Study I used to go to before we moved. Such dear ladies and we had wonderful devotions together. I miss that. I'm hoping to find another one to go to here.