Thursday, December 4, 2014

Contemplative Advent/December

My blog post on slowing down for Advent is up at the Living Lutheran site.  Go here to read it.

You might be saying, "Advent?  What's that?"  or "I'm not a churchgoer--what does your post say to me?"

Advent is the liturgical season that happens during the 4 Sundays before Christmas.  In an ideal world, we would slow down during the Advent season.  We would light the candles on our Advent wreaths (1 per Sunday) and open a window on the Advent calendar each day.  We would keep watch, as the Advent texts remind us to do.

We do not live in that perfect world.  Advent necessarily takes place during December, which for many of us is one of the busiest times of the year.

My post ponders the possibility of having a more contemplative Advent time.  It has suggestions for all of us who spend time in December feeling frazzled and wishing that our pre-holiday time could be different.

 Here are some quotes to whet your appetite:

"We give up things for Lent. Maybe that should be an Advent practice too."

"We need to build some times of stillness into our days, and Advent is a great time to start. If we just turn off the volume of our computers, we won't get pings whenever anyone sends us an e-mail; I know I'm not the only one who feels that I must drop everything and check my e-mail when I hear that ping. Maybe instead of having news on as our background noise, we could have some soothing or inspiring music. The world can spare us for the amount of time it takes to pray. We could find a yoga class – surely we can find an hour or two in our weeks for some kind of physical discipline that helps our minds calm down. We can look at our free time and make fierce decisions. We can vow to go to just one party per weekend."

"Before we get deep into December, we should contemplate which of our traditions bring richness to our lives and which ones we do out of hollow duty."

The complete essay is here.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I am definitely in slow motion right now, so I am comforted by your Advent contemplation! Alas, I missed the first Sunday of Advent at my church, where we slowly build a horizontal Advent wreath on a table, starting with rocks, which also live in slow motion.