Wait for it. Wait for it. This Sunday, December 3rd marks the beginning of Advent, a season of holy longing. With Christians around the world, we eagerly anticipate the birth of Christ. We prepare room for Jesus – in our daily lives, in our homes, in our relationships. This is an active waiting filled with hope and great joy. And when Christmas finally comes, it’s worth the wait.
As you and yours wait faithfully, there’s no need to sit idly and twiddle your thumbs. Think of these as holy possibilities, not holy obligations. I commend to you this Active Advent Calendar. It contains a list of reflections and activities that embrace the waiting and help you prepare for the birth of Jesus. If you’re a rule follower, you can begin today, December 1 and continue through to Christmas. If you’re a rebel, I dare you to meander throughout, pick your favorites, change up the order, do what you will. Either way, I hope that this time of active waiting will create space in your life so that Christ might manger with you.
ACTION! ADVENT CALENDAR
- Create space for your nativity, as you set it out take a moment to retell the story. Don’t have a nativity? Ask Pastor Jen to help you make one or find one.
- Make a list of 10 things that bring you HOPE.
- Keep awake! What makes you tired or bored. How might you be more awake to God at work in these things?
- Wake up 10 minutes early, use the time to execute a Random Act of Kindness.
- Contribute toward the Christmas Food Bag collection for our friends at Holmsley Elementary.
- Read about Christ the Light (John 1:1-5) then go for a walk in or around your neighborhood and look at Christmas lights.
- Make a homemade card for someone and hand deliver it.
- Introduce yourself to a neighbor that you have never met before.
- Make a list of 10 places that bring you PEACE.
- Prepare the way of the Lord! What might it look like for you to prepare Christ room in your home and your heart?
- Buy some water, coffee, cocoa, snacks, etc. to give to people you meet on the street.
- Read Luke’s Nativity Story (Luke 2:1-20) then retell the story in your own words.
- Find 5 things that you could do without and donate them.
- Read a newspaper or watch the news, then pray for all the places that need peace in our world.
- Sit still for 5 minutes and imagine what peace looks like.
- Make a list of 10 things that bring you JOY.
- Do not be afraid! Think about what makes you afraid. Is it realistic? How does it hold you back from living fully?
- Bake some treats for Bethesda’s Cocoa & Cookies gathering, then come mingle.
- Read Matthew’s Nativity Story (Matthew 1:18-2:12) then retell the story in your own words.
- Buy something you’d really like to have for yourself and give it away.
- Give $5 to someone who looks like they could use a little joy and love.
- Create some paper snow-flakes and hang them up for others to enjoy.
- Make a list of 10 people who taught you how to LOVE.
- Let your soul Magnify the Lord. Find a Christmas Eve Worship to attend with your people.
- Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!