In Service - Advent

Volume 2: Issue 8
November 2016

The Rhythm of Advent

Melford “Bud” Holland

Many years ago I experienced heart arrhythmia. It happened unexpectantly on a Sunday morning just as I was awakening from sleep. After an extensive checkup, nothing was found that could have caused that condition to materialize. Over the next few years it occurred on other occasions at the same time of day with the same checkup and results. While it has been ten years since the last episode, one of the gifts of those occurrences is that I welcome each new day with great gratitude. Today is a gift beyond measure. What might I do, be, accomplish, try on, explore, or give thanks for on this day?

In the Christian calendar, this first day of Advent is the beginning of a new year. For some of us our hearts can be pounding with anticipated meetings and deadlines. They also may be pounding with excitement about seeing an old friend or anticipated time with a family member. Or perhaps this day reminds us of a loss or worry that can sometimes envelop our hearts, breaking them yet again and again. Advent can also be a time when we remember our histories and recall when a yearning for a messiah was on the lips of many and a hoped-for rescue from bondage was sought. Who is the messiah for whom we wish? What might happen if the messiah becomes present? So what seems like a split second, our present-moment thoughts might welcome both past and future hope.

As tempted as we might be to draw conclusions, jump into the future, or make something happen, today we can pause and wait for something to happen in our hearts, our prayers, our spirits, our relationships, and our observations of the world around us and within us. For many of us this is becoming increasingly hard to do. There is so much that can cause us fear, anxiety, and impatience to want to make something happen. Perhaps we might choose to follow a different path if only for a little while today and over the next few weeks. It just might make all the difference in what we observe.

Adapted from Advent Presence: Kissed by the Past, Beckoned by the Future
9780819232175   List price: $14.00   You Pay: $10.50

Further Reading
Church Publishing has a number of books to guide you through the season of Advent

FromHolidaystoHolyDays_150From Holidays to Holy Days
A Benedictine Walk Through Advent

Albert Holtz, O.S.B invites the reader to join him on his daily walks as he points out dozens of often-unnoticed connections between our holidays and the spiritual meaning of Advent and Christmas.

Learn more
9780819223166   List Price: $16.00   You Pay: $12.00
LoveLifeLiveAdvent_150Love Life Live Advent
Make Room for the Manger

An all-age resource which provides a simple prayer activity for children and families to do together, every day of December until Christmas Day. Look inside

Single Booklet:
9780819232342   List Price: $4.00   You Pay: $3.20
Pack of 25:
9780819232427   List Price: $55.00   You Pay: $45.00
LetEveryHeart_150Let Every Heart Prepare
Meditations for Advent and Christmas
Beautiful seasonal hymns that Barbara Cawthorne Crafton turns to for inspiration for daily meditations during the season of Advent.

Learn more  
9780819217554   List Price: $10.00   You Pay $7.50


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