Below is a compilation I’ve put together of some great Advent entries from around the blogosphere this first week of Advent 2012. There are some truly awesome devotionals and resources included in the roundup below. It’s a LONG post, but please take some time to check these links out! I’ve tried to focus quite strongly on ANGLICAN resources, and also am focusing links on sites or resources I have not linked in past Advent seasons. I’ll update this post if I find further recommended links and resources during the week.
Please share your own favorite links and resources in the comments! Thanks! – Karen
- Regular readers of Lent & Beyond may recall that this past Lent (2012) I discovered a fantastic devotional and photo blog called Barnstorming, written by a physician and farmer in rural Washington State. Well I’m thrilled to report that Dr. Emily is blogging up a storm for Advent. PLEASE treat yourself this Advent season to the absolutely beautiful meditations at Barnstorming- here’s the link to the Advent Category.
- Another GREAT blog I discovered this past Lent is the Rev. Patrick Comerford’s blog. Patrick Comerford is Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. The December 3 entry, Spirituality for Advent, is a fantastic roundup of Advent customs: 1 – the Advent Calendar; 2 – the Advent Wreath; 3- the Jess Tree; 4- Christingle services; 5- the Advent Prose; 6- Advent carols; 7- good old Saint Nicholas. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! All of this year’s Advent Links at the Rev. Comerford’s blog can be found with this link. Advent 2012. His Advent 2012 theme is “With the Saints through Advent.” Here’s how he describes the series:
During this season of Advent, as we prepare for the Coming of Christ at Christmas, I hope to take us on a daily journey through Advent with the saints as examples of that Christian and Christmas hope. Many of us enjoyed opening doors of Advent calendars when we were children. But this is a spiritual exercise to see how the lives of the saints open doors into understanding the meaning and implications of the incarnation for us today.
- At Stand Firm, there’s an excellent short reflection by the Rev. Timothy Fountain on Advent, Humility, and Care-giving, based on the example of the Virgin Mary. Here’s an excerpt:
I don’t think care givers need to work at being humble, because a humbling reality defines their lives.
Most care givers I’ve met struggle less with big heads than with broken hearts. The danger is not so much losing their humility as feeling humiliated by demands too big for them.
Many of us now enter a season that features an incredible story of care giving. Of someone saying “Yes” to an unexpected and urgent need. Of accepting a situation one didn’t create. Of nurturing a life guaranteed to be out of step with the “normal” stuff all around. It’s a story of someone who admitted her own confusion, who considered herself small in the scheme of things, who was warned that what she was getting into would break her heart.
This care giver was not humiliated because she had real humility, seeing herself and her situation as they were, while cherishing the life placed in her care and relying on a power greater than her own.
- Some great Advent Prayers at Pastor Scotty Smith’s Heavenward Blog:
Dec 1: A Prayer Celebrating the Beginning of Advent
Dec. 2: A Prayer for the First Sunday in Advent
Dec. 3: A Prayer for Loving from the Heart. I really needed and appreciated the theme of this prayer on letting Christ’s incarnation teach us how to love others. I’m struggling in a relationship with a work colleague and needed to pray this prayer today:
[...] So as I celebrate your incarnation this early morning, I surrender to its implications. Love in me and love through me, Lord Jesus. There’s no other way I will love anyone well. Make my love for my brothers and sisters sincere and observable. Teach me how to love deeply from my heart, just as you love us.
AMEN. Keep an eye out for all of Scotty Smith’s Advent Prayers using this link.
- A nice reflection at Desiring God blog: Advent is Slow – On Purpose. Here’s a short teaser…
Advent takes time. It cannot be microwaved, it cannot be compressed into 24 hours, and it cannot be sped up to the bustling speed of our daily lives. Advent is slow on purpose, because the slowness of the celebration mirrors the slowly unfolding drama of the Advent of the Savior himself in history. [...] And to reflect the slow illumination, candle by candle the darkness gets pushed back, and day by day we are invited into the slowly unfolding Advent drama.
- Also at Desiring God: A FREE Advent eBook by John Piper: Good News of Great Joy
- At James Gibson’s Locusts and Wild Honey blog: Monday in Advent 1: Unreasonable mercy? (James Gibson used to publish the Anglican Daily Prayer blog. His devotional posts now appear at Locusts and Wild Honey.) All of James’ Advent devotional entries can be found with his Advent Category link.
- Christ Church Plano has some good Advent resources on their website, including: Bringing Advent Home (a list of Advent resources and traditions), and a reflection by the Rev. David Roseberry: Journey of the Magi. Here’s the link for all Advent posts from Christ Church Plano.
- St. Peter’s Tallahassee is another church who I linked enthusiastically during Lent 202. Here are their Advent resources. I liked their explanation of the Advent Wreath Candles and what they symbolize:
On each of the four Sundays of Advent a different candle is lit.
The first candle is the Patriarch’s Candle, reminding us of the Old Testament patriarchs who anticipated the fulfillment of God’s promises. The second is the Prophet’s Candle, reminding us of the Old Testament prophets who foretold of the Messiah’s birth. The third is the John the Baptist Candle, reminding us of the prophet who proclaimed Christ’s advent. The fourth is the Virgin Mary Candle, reminding us of Mary’s faithfulness in responding to God’s call to be the Mother of the Messiah. The final candle, the Christ Candle, is lit on Christmas Eve. As the winter darkness gathers, the light of the Advent Wreath increases and reminds us the Light of God shining in the darkness. The lighting of the Advent wreath is an act of lived hope as the Church remembers Christ’s birth and anticipates his return in glory.
- Don’t forget that the Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon always posts great Advent material at TitusOneNine. Here’s Kendall’s Advent category link., And here’s the link for the prayer category – including Kendall’s daily prayer posts.