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Monday, December 1, 2008

Advent Calendar, Day 1, but day 2 of Advent


This is a picture of my daily advent "calendar." It is a candle with the numbers 1-24 on them. The numbers are seen on the gold stars. Each morning I will light this candle and let is burn through the gold star that reminds me where we are on our advent journey. Today is a bonus as Day 1 also includes the very top part of the candle. As the candle burns I will read from my favorite Advent Devotional, "Preparing for Jesus" by Walter Wangerin Jr. It is my all time favorite daily reader and I am never surprised when something new bursts onto the pages for me. I've been reading it through advent now for many years. My new daily reading is by Henri Nouwen, also a favorite author. His reader has a tip for each day. Today's was to look for a sign that God is present in our daily lives. Our daily lives. For me, it is the daily walk that makes advent such a special time. Lent too, but lent is so heavy. Advent is full of joy and preparation...anticipation of the one for whom we wait. Jesus.
My little red advent calendar candle serves as a reminder of the season as well as a prompter for taking my moments to pause and consider His coming. Truth be told, I am not so good at the "daily disciplines" so during the seasons of the year that make it a bit easier to maintain, I treasure the moments that enrich my life through a daily practice.
The daily candle, the Sunday candles, the readings...they all help to remind me that the birth of Christ is coming and that everything else in the season, the events, the food, the decorations, are mere sideshows to the main event. And that main event my friends, has changed everything for me. It's worth pondering throughout these next 24 days.