Advent 2017

Fourth Week of Advent: Looking Up

By | 2017-12-24T16:30:34-04:00 December 24th, 2017|Advent 2017|

Some scholars who specialize in studying ancient religions say that to understand the spiritual practices of a people it’s necessary to know whether they believed that their gods were beings of the heavens or of the earth. This information helps explain the derivation of their images and icons – sun, moon, stars and comets versus [...]

Third Week of Advent: Looking Ahead

By | 2017-12-19T11:46:08-04:00 December 19th, 2017|Advent 2017|

  If only I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard (or said), “if only:” “If only I had more time, I could get involved in the local _____________ agency (fill in the name of a service organization of your choice).” “If only my parent hadn’t fallen on the basement steps, s/he wouldn’t need [...]

Second Week of Advent: Looking Around

By | 2017-12-12T12:18:37-04:00 December 12th, 2017|Advent 2017|

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” proclaims the familiar song. That is surely an apt observation: it’s been looking a lot like Christmas since before Hallowe’en. Are you willing to do an easy experiment? Every time you think of it today, take a moment to look around and allow the sights and sounds [...]

First Week of Advent: Looking Back

By | 2017-12-07T12:14:42-04:00 December 5th, 2017|Advent 2017|

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, it’s a challenge to avoid looking back. Nostalgia is rampant. Families observe many long-standing holiday traditions: unpacking treasured decorations, putting up the tree, sharing holiday meals featuring favorite menus and recipes, attending concerts and programs, sharing memories and family stories, and singing familiar Christmas carols. In many families [...]

Advent: Preparation and Perspective

By | 2017-12-05T16:54:59-04:00 December 5th, 2017|Advent 2017|

The season of Advent has been observed by the Christian Church for the four weeks before Christmas since the sixth century. It was designated a time of preparation and penitence, and initially observed similarly to the Lenten season that precedes Easter. Advent was to be set aside for prayer, fasting and alms-giving, focused on preparing [...]