It’s the first day of the new year in the Church. The liturgical calendar begins with Advent, a time of waiting in the darkness of the winter for the Light of Christ to come and be with us on Christmas. It is a season filled with beautiful symbols of light, darkness, life, repentance and faith. We ought to learn to celebrate it with as much fervor and attention as our culture does with Christmas.
I challenge you to enter into Advent. It’s time to get started with our waiting!
The Advent Daily Dose will be a very short reflection, encouragement, lesson, or challenge for you to read every weekday of Advent. Be sure to sign up for an email subscription so you can get each one delivered to you. This is great for those of us who are forever misplacing our little Advent devotional books or forgetting to address them during the day.
The Advent Challenge
Some things you should do during Advent:
- Get out that Advent wreath! If you don’t have one, make it a priority to buy or make one in the next few days. If it was December 24th and you had no Christmas tree, wouldn’t that be a priority? Enough said. I put mine out before we left for the weekend to make sure I was on top of things:
- Choose a specific time during the day to pray quietly and practice listening to God. I’m terrible at this. Just awful. I’m going to work hard on greeting God each morning in a quick prayer, but my quiet prayer habit is going to include my son. A dear friend recommended this to me after I told her that I used to have a good habit of spending the first five minutes of his nap in prayer. Since I’ve had two children and the oldest doesn’t nap anymore and we lost the habit of quiet time this summer when he was always outside, I lost my prayer habit. Now I’m going to take the first few minutes after Lovey Girl goes down for a nap and pray with my son. I’ll teach him the value of silence, take time to listen to God, and offer my Advent intentions.
- Write down specific Advent intentions. I do this for Lent and the Easter season as well as Advent. Any time the Church sets aside, I dedicate for certain intentions and make sure I pray every day for them. Because it’s a finite time, I’m more likely to stick with it the entire four weeks instead of falling off the bandwagon. Try to keep it to two or three intentions so that they’re truly a focus and not your entire prayer list. My prayer life is in such shambles right now that my “priority” list became rather long. A few examples from my list:
- discipline and time management
- patience in parenting
- husband and children
- end to abortion
- improved economy
- deepened national faith and culture learning to focus on eternity instead of material things
- for men unafraid to answer the call to priestly vocation
- a renewal of the sanctity of marriage.
- Choose a regular Advent devotion. Your church might offer a book for you to follow, you could work through the daily readings, look for something at your local Christian bookstore, or just use the Advent Daily Dose here at Kitchen Stewardship.
- Schedule a time for Confession and Adoration. If you already have a regular adoration time, commit to deepening your prayer during this time.
Find all the Advent Daily Dose reflections here.