Sunday, 30 November 2008

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus

Today marks the beginning of Advent, a season of expectant waiting and preparation in the weeks leading up to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.


We will mark the passing of Advent with the lighting of one candle on the Advent wreath each week and with a Jesse tree study beginning on December 1st.

Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the saints Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.


I know it won't yet mean much to a young toddler, but we will be starting our traditions now so that they are a part of our celebrations right from the beginning. It also helps me to prepare my own heart during this Advent season, a way to reflect on and anticipate the coming celebration at a time when it becomes so easy to get caught up in the busyness of gift buying, decorating, attending Christmas parties, watching Christmas performances, packing and travelling.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.


May this Advent season be a blessing to you as well as you look to the coming of Christ. O Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, desire of every nation, Savior of all peoples, come and dwell among us.


By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

6 comments:

  1. I'm only a day into this - but I'm loving focusing on advent season this year. I love the prayer that the guide I'm using has. "Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us strength to grow in love, that hte dawn of his coming may find us rejoicicng in his presence and welcoming the light of his truth."


    I was thinking it was a little silly to be doing the whole "lighting of the candle" thing all by myself.
    But- then I figured - if I start it now it's one less thing that will be a change when there are other people in my life - it'll just be something I get to share with others.

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  2. I really wanted to do more, but I think we're going to just light the candles once a week and then do the daily readings we have from church. We can't find anything else and I'm obviously out of time.

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  3. I've never celebrated Advent before. Honestly I don't know much about it, but this is a lovely post and something to consider next year. I do love the Christmas season though :)

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  4. :) I want to do this next year! Do you have a good site or resource that can help me better understand Advent and share it with Mike?

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  5. Heather, here is a good website for understanding Advent. Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas and is a period of time in which to prepare for the upcoming celebration of Christ's birth. There are many ways to do so. Some people use an Advent wreath, some use a Jesse Tree, and some use an Advent calendar in which they put a daily Bible verse and an activity or gift for the family. Whatever you do to observe the Advent season, the purpose is to more intentionally prepare your heart for the celebration of the birth of Christ and for His future second coming.

    There is more useful information here, here, here, and here.

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