Apologies that it’s taken me so long to post this. Having been almost totally offline for 4 days, I’m just now catching up on some stuff I should have posted days ago…
Via Anglican Mainstream, this excellent compilation of Advent Resources
Also they have posted a nice reflection What is the Point of Advent. I appreciated this section especially:
Might this be a model to prepare ourselves in Advent, following the example of the early missionaries: to pray, examine ourselves, perhaps fast, remember again the story we were told and prepare to help others with it; to be an example so that not only will the message be received, but those listening will see as they did with the early missionaries, that we live that message out in our lives; that we practice what we preach. This was what according to Bede, finally persuaded the listeners to the early missionaries to the English of the truth of the message they lived out.
So perhaps that preparation and vigilance may mean penitence and fasting and prayer, and serving others, but it may be good to approach Advent with a hopeful end and intention: to prepare ourselves at the start of this new church year for the work ahead, in longing and anticipation of Christ coming close in our lives, and being prepared to pass on to others the story made part of our lives. What could be better than to tell each other again the story told to our ancestors as Bede relates, and to tell others of that story? That is a meaning for Advent I can understand.
As the introduction to the Advent Carol Service puts it:
“Beloved in Christ, as we prepare this Advent to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, let us hear again in the words of the Scriptures the story of God’s loving purpose in our creation and redemption. Let us bring to mind the goodness of God in calling the creation into his light; his mercy in Christ Jesus in drawing us from the darkness of sin; and his grace to us and to all sinners in summoning us by his Holy Spirit, as the dawn of his kingdom breaks upon us”
So I am going to follow a course of scriptural readings during Advent, looking forward to the coming of the good news and remembering Bede and those who bring the Gospel..