The Oasis - December 4, 2019
Author: Rev. Estelle Margarones
December 04, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones
Advent: The period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting (http://www.Merriam-Webster.com/dictionary/Advent.)
On Thanksgiving Day, I saw several facebook posts from folks who had already put up gorgeous trees. I smiled and thought, 'What better way to express thanks to God than by getting into the Christmas spirit?' I then put up two Christmas stockings and a wreath I'd made while I was on vacation.
Each year, I find myself growing more thoughtful about both the meaning of Christmas and the observation of Advent. This year, I plan to be 'in the moment' as much as possible; fully present wherever I am and whatever I'm doing. I am also deliberately leaving time every day to connect with Christ; and because I'm connecting with Christ, that means I am connecting with others. Everything about the gospel is relational.
I invite you to join me in an Advent practice. What you do will be as individual as you. Here're are some ideas:
Maybe you set aside time every morning before others get up to think about a particular word from the season: star, travel, manger, shepherds, Magi, angel, tree, candle, etc...
Perhaps you take time during the day to read a chapter of the Gospel of Luke. There are 24 chapters, so if you get started today with the first 4, you'll know the whole story on Christmas!
Before you mail holiday cards, you could hold each card near your heart and pray for the recipient.
You could make your own Advent calendar featuring different attributes of Christ each day ie: compassionate, loving, unashamed, prayerful, forgiving, listening, helpful, humble, merciful, empathetic, etc… (And what would it be like if you truly embodied a different characteristic each day?)
Perhaps you find a way to live out the Advent theme of the week: hope, peace, joy, and love. For hope, you could write a check or volunteer somewhere. For peace, you could offer to babysit for a friend or write to a legislator or extend an olive branch to a family member. For joy, you could take someone who doesn't drive out to see Christmas lights or go caroling or share Christmas cookies with new friends. For love, you could call someone you that you haven't seen in a while. You could engage in small talk with the person ringing up your purchases. You could give mittens for our Christmas Eve Mitten Tree.
Want to share Christ's hope, peace, joy, and love all at once? You could invite, pick up, and bring someone to worship or another of our offerings this month!