“We Need A Little Advent”
One of the best gifts we Episcopalians can offer the world this time of year is the gift of Advent: We don’t skip from Halloween right over Thanksgiving straight to Christmas. As Black Friday sales expand each year, it can seem like the materialistic side of Christmas begins to start sooner and last longer, and the focus on the newest and best toys (for kids and adults!) overshadows the “true meaning of Advent”.
TNE suggests we all bring a little extra prayer and quiet expectation to Advent, for your family and friends. Most of of know a little about wreaths and calendars, but below are other easy and fun ways to use Advent as a way of teaching children, youth, and adults not about about this wonderful liturgical season, but also ways to help us see Christ in others.
King of Peace Episcopal Church in Kingsland, Georgia has several great family advent suggestions here
The Jesuit’s Loyola Press has some of the best family devotions and activities around:
- Children’s Advent Calendar http://www.loyolapress.com/childrens-advent-calendar.htm
- Celebrating Advent With Your Family http://www.loyolapress.com/celebrating-advent-with-your-family.htm
- The Jessee Tree http://www.loyolapress.com/the-jesse-tree.htm
- Family Blessing of the Advent Wreath http://www.loyolapress.com/blessing-an-advent-wreath.htm
- Family Blessing of the Christmas Ornaments http://www.loyolapress.com/blessing-the-christmas-ornaments.htm
- Family Blessing of the Christmas Tree http://www.loyolapress.com/blessing-the-family-christmas-tree.htm
St. Nicholas Day is December 6th, and the St. Nicholas Center has lots of fun information and activities here
For easy ways to make a difference in the lives of others, try any of these resources
- Help end hunger and poverty with Heifer Internationsl http://www.heifer.org/
- Instead of that new putter for yourself or your mom or dad, donate to First Tee
and help get youth off of the street and into the game of golf
- Help the environment with Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org
or with Greenpeace http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/
- Join All Call and Last Call Omaha and make a micro-loan at Kiva.org http://www.kiva.org/
- Donate to ERD (Episcopal Relief and Development) https://www.episcopalrelief.org/
By using these ideas and others, we can teach our children and each other not only about the season of Advent, but also what it means to be a disciple of Christ.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen. (Collect for Advent 1)