The Marble Women’s Ministry would like to invite you to follow their Advent blog. Light up your Advent season with daily postings from the Leadership Team and some wonderful guests will share their prayers, thoughts, favorite memories and gifts. With a season filled with a flurry of activities, we may lose sight of the real meaning of the season. This blog sets out to renew the hope of the expectant birth of Christ. Come share their prayerful and creative journey to Christmas!
Below are the first three posts:
First Day of Advent - November 30, 2014
Advent is a season of preparation; expectant waiting to celebrate the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. Wikipedia defines the term as an Anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.
Sometimes, I wonder how we ‘ring in’ Advent as compared to Christmas with all the ‘busyness’ responding to commercial ads thrown at us on a daily basis. I recall how advent was celebrated in a culture where I grew up as a child and teenager so many, many years ago. I try to compare the celebration of Advent with our culture In the States.
We got ourselves prepared spiritually as a family. We turned to the Word. Without all the distractions of the American Holiday Extravaganza, we were able to focus a bit more on what Advent meant to us as Christians. Reading what the prophets foretold about the coming of the Messiah always paved the way for a deeper understanding about what it meant to ‘expect’. We were reminded that as we waited we should look for His presence in our daily lives – not the future but right now because of the certainty of His return. I feel exceptionally blessed having had the privilege to have experienced and shared the Advent season with families and friends in so many. The tradition is universal.
- Agatha Pratt
Day 2 of Advent: What are you waiting for? - December 1, 2014
“Advent” is from the word “to come,” and while it is a reminder of the coming of Jesus into the world, then and now, this season also asks to look into our hearts and to ask: What is coming into our lives? Where is the longing?
There is ground in all of us that needs to be prepared for whatever new is coming. Advent calls us to the work of receptivity... of emptying out. In the story of the Annunciation, the angel coming to Mary with astounding news, she “makes room,” literally and metaphorically, for new life, for surprise, for an upending of life as she knew it.
One of the paradoxes of Advent is that it asks us to be open and receptive, to make room... and it also has a theme of waiting, of preparation. For many of us, none of these inner and outer tasks are easy... but to do them at the same time? That can seem particularly hard.
Advent’s invitations will be different for each of us. Maybe the first step is to become aware of some of these summonses... and to ponder in your heart where you are asked to co-create with God during this season of surprise.
Some questions to get you started:
Do you know what you are waiting for, if anything, at this time in your life? The Advent season is both inner and outer… your soul may have a surprising answer if you ask it: “What are we waiting for, hoping for....” Try journaling on this during Advent this year.
My hunch is, we are not called to wait for the same old, same old. In waiting itself is a call, a need for openness - perhaps radical openness.
What gestation, that can’t be rushed, are you waiting for? Where do you need to enter the crucible of your own life, or the life of another, or a place of need in the world?
What do you need to clear out... to make room for what?
As you wait, can you at the same time be open to surprise? Advent, like all the mysterious church seasons, has many aspects, and can bring both shadow and light. And sometimes what we receive in these times is not what we hoped for, but something else. When this happens, Advent waiting rests on our response, our prayerful reaction to the unimaginably new.
One of my favorite translations of this Isaiah verse speaks to me of Advent:
“It isn’t always about amassing things or receiving accolades. Jesus taught that the essence of happy living is Love – knowing how to receive it and how to extend it. “This is My commandment, that you love one another.” Love and Joy are inextricably bound.”
– Dr. Brown
- Nina H. Frost
Day 3 Of Advent: Random Acts Of Kindness - December 2, 2014
This Advent season, Marble’s staff member Ashley Johnson will be posting an online Advent Calendar: 24 Random Acts of Kindness. Follow her journey of doing little things to give back every day on Facebook. And if you are inspired to do so, join in and let us know on our Facebook page Marble Collegiate Church how your journey is going!
“Becoming a mother this year made me think about traditions that I want to begin, or continue, with my little one as he grows older and begins to understand the season. I wanted to find something we could do to grow together as a family. Teaching him about empathy towards others and being kind is an important lesson and one I need to remind myself of sometimes. Inspired by a Pinterest post I pinned when I was curating Marble’s Christmas board, I decided to make an Advent calendar that instead of getting or being introspective, made me think and grow by doing and giving. It didn’t need to be full of big gestures, just something small and doable, a butterfly flap of the wing that could perhaps create a bigger change for someone else and maybe even me.
You are welcome to participate along with me as I pull a directive for a new act of kindness out of the Advent calendar on my door each day until Christmas. I’ll be photo documenting and sharing my journey on Facebook and I hope that you’ll join me in this and share your experiences and photos with me of how your 24 acts of kindness unfold over Advent. I’m excited to share how I hope to be making a small difference and I look forward to hearing from you on how you decide to fulfill the suggested action selected each day!”
- Ashley Johnson
In keeping with the season, it’s nice to be reminded that in little acts of kindness, we can make a big difference in someone’s day.