Sunday, November 30, 2014

Preparing our Hearts for Advent

If you follow My Sacred Sojourn on Facebook, you might have seen this photo from Sunday morning. It just seemed like such a fitting way to begin the season...a cup of my favorite tea (Joy by TAZO), in a beautiful mug from Dayspring (find their new version here) and delicious muffins, delivered by my mother while they were still warm from the oven!

 

Advent is a dear time of the year for me. I first stumbled onto this way of observance a few years ago and instantly felt a connection to this intensive time of focus on our Lord. There are a few resources I use in my personal observance and I wanted to share them with you today.

First and foremost, I use this time of year as a call to dive deep into the Bible and read the Old and New Testament references to the Messiah. This year, I've created a reading plan to follow. I'm including each week here or you may join me each Sunday of Advent when I'll re-post that week's reading plan, along with my thoughts about that week's topic.



Another resource I turn to year after year is this Devotions for Advent booklet. 
 
It's a tiny, pocket-size book that I can fit in my purse to read anytime I have a short break. I love that it contains a suggested scripture reading, as well as quotes from many others in the faith. I shared my favorite quote on Facebook, but I'll share it again here:
 "Advent...helps us to understand the fullness of the value and meaning of the mystery of Christmas. It is not just about commemorating the historical event; which occurred some 2,000 years ago in a little village of Judea. Instead, we must understand that our whole life should be an 'advent,' in vigilant expectation of Christ's final coming. To prepare our hearts to welcome the Lord, who as we say in the Creed, will come one day to judge the living and the dead, we must learn to recognize his presence in the events of daily life. Advent is then a period of intense training that directs us decisively to the One who has already come, who will come and who continuously comes."  

~Pope John Paul II
And a new-to-me resource is this FREE Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus ebook I found via Pinterest. It contains scripture references, journal prompts and activities to do with your children throughout the season. I'm excited to incorporate this into our family's observance this year. I'll share more about that in another post.


How do you keep Christ as the focus in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? Do you observe Advent?

Blessings,
April

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