Keeping Advent, day one

For those of you keeping track, today, December 1, is actually NOT the first day of Advent according to the church calendar. Technically, Advent began this past Sunday, which was the first Sunday in Advent, and we are already halfway to the second Sunday in Advent.

But as most conventional Advent calendars begin December 1, I figured I would begin my own online Advent "calendar" today as well. "Calendar" is truly a loose term here.  I simply mean to post something every day between now and Christmas Day that reflects the spirit of the season.  I already have a nice collection of links and pictures that I'm excited to share with you, little things that hopefully will make you think or give you pause or reflect the light of the Spirit present in our Advent waiting. Selfishly, since Advent is also a season of preparation and penitence, I would do well to occupy these next days with some fashion of a spiritual discipline, not wholly unlike the way that people give things up during Lent. So I hope that this blog can provide me with an intentional few minutes of Advent reflection each day, and an opportunity to allow writing and reflection to keep me grounded during a season that so often grows so busy and spins so out of control that it is over in the blink of an eye.

Today's Advent goodies are three links that I probably should have shared sooner. These three posts from Uncommon Grace offer some simple and meaningful ways to count down Advent, both by creating a simple and alternative Advent calendar, and by using an Advent wreath for your family in a meaningful way. Even if it is too late for you to be able to adopt some of these ideas fully, perhaps they will inspire you to consider ways that you might simply and intentionally walk through Advent this year.

Celebrating Advent: Part One
Celebrating Advent: Part Two
Celebrating Advent: Part Three

Happy first day of December, everyone! Happy snow (if you are in Chicagoland)! Happy Advent!

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