Advent 2014

(re)Discovering Identity

There was a time long ago when Jesus came to earth. It changed everything. Therefore, we celebrate his birth every year on Christmas. But in our world full of busyness, that day can sometimes sneak up on us. Advent is the antidote. Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas – a time of intentionally focusing again on Jesus coming.

There are many traditions for Advent. Most remind us of Jesus’ birth story and the significant characters involved. This is a story worth repeating year after year! Others take on themes that are helpful in re-centering our lives in what can otherwise be a quite hectic time of year. Finally, there are common symbols – candles, wreaths, stars, and angels.

I wrote this set of Advent reflections for several reasons. First, because this story matters and there are some, maybe you, who do not know much about Jesus coming to the earth. Second, because many of us who ARE familiar with the story have heard it so many times that we’ve lost our appreciation for how amazing it is. May God speak to us in new ways as we journey together. Finally, I think many of the Advent resources that are out there require too much – too many supplies, too much money for the activities, overly-complicated crafts. I wanted something simple that people anywhere can use.

I have focused on the theme of identity – who is Jesus, who are we? What are the things that shaped who he was? What are the things that shape us? There are four mediations, one for each Sunday of Advent. There is an idea to consider, something to read, questions for reflection, then activities to work on either then or throughout the week.

– Reflection 1: how our history shapes our identity (1 December)

– Reflection 2: how our family shapes our identity (8 December)

– Reflection 3: how our names shapes our identity (15 December)

– Reflection 4: how out calling shapes our identity (22 December)

It will help if you can set aside a small Advent space somewhere for the things we will be creating over the weeks.

I apologise for only getting this to you now (note to self: work on this further in advance so you are not getting it to everyone just in time). It is likely that I will send out each week’s reflection one at a time in advance of the Sunday to use it.

Please email me any input – how it worked for you, suggested improvements, like/don’t like, anything unclear, etc. The nice part about sending this out in pieces is that I can make changes as we go to make it better for everyone 🙂

Parents: give it a read over first and figure out how to use best with your family. It is difficult for me to write something that adults, toddlers, and pre-teens can all use effectively! I would really value your feedback on how you asked the questions, did the activities, etc. with your children so that I can incorporate that better in the future.

Finally, please SHARE this with anyone and everyone. I am praying this little set of reflections helps all of us focus on Jesus and learn about ourselves as we head toward Christmas. Maybe you know people that this will bless…

with love,
Arthur

Advent Week 1 A4size

Advent Week 2 A4 Size

Advent Week 3 A4 Size

Advent Week 4 A4 Size