Sunday, 29 November 2009


This was the scene in my kitchen yesterday as our preparations for Advent kicked off, an annual ritual of making Advent wreaths, both for church and home. I love the season of Advent, as a counterpoint to all I dislike in the commercial frenzy of Christmas. Advent is about waiting, being mindful, preparation of heart. For me, it is the challenge to be still; a direct challenge to our culture and its' prevailing beliefs. I know my children are thinking about presents and Father Christmas, and of course who can deny their pleasure in this? But Advent is the chance to open their hearts to the greater, deeper story; the coming of Christ and His light and life. So, we'll enjoy the gnomes and other silly things, but I hope we'll take some moments each day to stop on our journey.

As well as the Advent wreath, this year we are trying something new (to us). We have discovered the idea of making a Jesse Tree. We're starting simply, using some bare branches, and readings from here, where you can also download some ideas for ornamnents. We'll see how time allows but I would love to make a set of durable wooden or fabric ornaments. Maybe that's something to do as a long term project - after all, I'm trying to get away from  being too busy!

To go along with that I have discovered this wonderful book, which we have started reading today. It looks like it will be really good, with a tiny chapter for each day. It is the story of a carpenter carving a Jesse Tree and his conversations with a young boy.

Other reads for Advent...One I have been reading for a few years now, and really love - it is a children's book, but I do still enjoy this story about a magical Advent Calendar that leads a small girl back through time.

And, more a challenging read, but again has become well loved over quite a few years, is this collection of writings. It includes authors such as Bonhoeffer, Annie Dillard, C.S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, and is a mix of prose, poetry and meditation.

Tonight I'm tired, but outside a light covering of snow has fallen, the moon is almost full and stars shine brightly in the deep blue of a winter sky. A beautiful stillness covers everything, and I'm trying to take it all into my heart. Happy Advent.

Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment