A Simple Advent Practice
For my sour, grinchy frown.
I’m not that big a fan of Christmas.
Well, actually I enjoy Christmas Day. It’s the month leading up to it that has me asking: what about the Incarnation means I have to gain 15 pounds and max out my budget? The constant chorus of, “must haves” and all the calendar detours feel like, “noise, noise, noise, noise!”
One fun thing I like to do is remind my family how early Christians didn’t even celebrate Christmas. “No one even knows what day Jesus was born,” I proclaim, “but it probably wasn’t December.” Then I drop some cool facts about harvest time and shepherds with flocks and the schedule of a Roman census. I end by suggesting we focus more on fasting and confession, not feasting and consumerism.
This little sermon always goes great! Just kidding. It goes nowhere, because it is lame.
Luckily I’m married to the kind of man who knows when to shove a cookie in my face and go hang some lights. 20 years married to Santa is making me a lot more fun.
But even as I’m learning to be a better sport about Christmas, I do crave more spiritual practices during this season. I just want to know I’ve come through December with some kind of connection to God. I want to feel that something special is at work in me before a new year begins.
One option I’m trying right now is scripture memorization. Scripture is how the first disciples recognized Messiah; it’s how he identified himself. (Luke 24:27) Memorizing is a simple practice: a few minutes a day focused on just a verse or two. And I like that I can try it anywhere - in traffic or the shower or in line for a peppermint mocha.
Would you like to join me? You can find some resources here or on Instagram.
My passage this year is Mary’s song, Luke 1:46-55. For a little more context on her words, you might like to watch this video. And let me know if you decide to participate. I would love to cheer you on!
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