Below you'll find each of our locations plans for the Christmas season, with oppotunities to gather in small, meaningful ways, our plans to celebrate Christmas Eve, and this year's Must Have Gifts. You'll also find an advent reading guide to use in your devotional time. We are excited to journey through Advent with you this year!
— WHAT'S HAPPENING —
— Reading Guide —
Advent feels like a sweet memory peeled back slowly. Layer by layer. Petal by petal.
The Greek word for advent is parousia, meaning “coming”. For hundreds of years the people of God have spent four Sundays and the days in between intentionally preparing themselves for what was and what is to come. Hundreds of years of candles and readings. The saints before us have paved a long and rich history of preparation.
And yet, I always miss it.
I always have good intentions.Intentions to prepare, to heed the warnings: Christmas is easy to miss in tinsel and trimming. But, if we are not careful, we can also miss it in the familiar. Stories and carols roll off our tongues, warm and known. The familiar winks at busy and rushing and tense. Familiar has a tendency to overshadow the magic.
This year, of all years, I want the magic.
Advent is the invitation to watch the magic unfold. It will unfold in loads of ways: the candles, the questions of children, the wine and the wheat, the twinkling lights, and the benevolence of strangers and saints. But more than anywhere, it can unfold for us in the magic of the ancient words sent from the Holy Spirit in the scriptures. As we set our hope fully on the grace they offer, we must dig deeper into the familiar, exposing the adventure, the magic, and the rescue of the parousia.
Use the reading guide below to spend time each day meditating on the good news of Jesus' coming at Christmas.