Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent: A time of Repentance, Reparation and Resolutions

Today is the first Sunday of Advent! Oh, happy day ... we love advent around here because we pull out all the stops and prep in every way for the coming of the Christ Child on Christmas Morning!So we have the candles and wreath ready for lighting tonight ...the Jesse Tree is ready for the hanging of the ornaments each night as we learn about the link between the Old and New Testaments, between the prophets and Jesus' fulfillment of the prophesies...the family altar is ready for our advent blocks and (from Dec 17th) our O Antiphons house ...and we have the basket of Christmas crafts (gifts, decorations and fun items) all set to start working on for our first home-made Christmas.We always read from Geraldine McCaughrean's The Jesse Tree -- a great story about a crochety old wood-carver and an inquisitive little boy who gets the old man to tell him the story of the Jesse Tree. We read a section each night at dinner and then place the appropriate symbol on the tree. I'll set aside 30-60 minutes each day for personal meditation -- this year, I'll use Catherine Doherty's Donkey Bells. I particularly like this book for meditation as it goes beyond Advent and into the Christmas season.

Tomorrow, we'll start the Christmas baking -- around here "stir up Sunday" usually becomes "stir up Monday" as somehow the First Sunday of Advent always sneaks up on me! As we progress, I'll post recipes and results here.

As a final thought for this first Advent post, this quote from the Magnificat really hit me today as we continue to pray for the sale of the house in Denver and I continue to pray for the wisdom and grace to simplify and refocus our lives:

At a certain point in life, the profound deisres and cravings of our heart
reach a point of eruption in us. Yet, at the same time comes the awareness
that we cannot bring about what we want -- we do not have inside us what is
needed to fulfill and satisfy our longings. And so, with our infinite yearnings we turn to the Infinite and cry, "Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down." Our experience of helplessness before the fact of our boundless human need moves us to ask for fellowship with God's Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. The nature of our desire assures us as we enter into Advent that we are not lacking in any spiritual gift as we wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord of the house is coming ... Be watchful! Be alert!


Anne (aussieannie) said...

I love the look of your fabric Jesse Tree, you will have to show photos as it progresses along!

Debbie said...

Well, of course, we'd rather you decided to return to Denver...but if it is His will, then we'll pray HIS will be done (and your house sells!) BUT, if you have a change of heart...we'd be thrilled to have you return. :-)

You are so organized! I had to scrounge in the garage this evening to find the Advent wreath and a sled hit me on the nose (right where I'd broken it on Labor Day!) Hmmm...maybe it's a sign for Advent of hard times ahead. :-o

Or maybe it's just a wake-up call to stay alert and watchful, eh?

MaryM said...

Wish we were celebrating Advent traditions with you!