More Good Advent 2014 Resources for Children and Families

December 2, 2014

From the Diocese of Bath & Wells in the UK– A number of good resources for Advent.  I particularly like the “A is for Advent” poem and the Advent Alphabet ideas

They also have a very good Jesse Tree page – each day of Advent there is a new symbol and accompanying short devotional (including a Scripture verse and prayer) that is posted.

The Advent Project from Biola University – Fantastic Online Advent Calendar

December 1, 2014

We’ve included the link for Biola’s Online Advent Calendar in our list of recommended Advent devotional sites for 2014, but this Advent resouce is so special, it deserves a post of its own.

Here’s a description of the site:

Advent is as much about the solemn tension of “now and not yet” as it is about the joy and magnificence of our present gift: God in flesh, our hope divine.

This online Advent Project is designed to help us pause each day to reflect on the beauty and meaning of the season. It utilizes the arts (music, poetry, prose, film, painting, photography), representing a diverse spectrum of styles and time periods, to interact with Scripture over the course of six weeks.

The calendar starts on the first day of Advent, November 30, 2014, and continues through Epiphany, January 6, 2015. Each day features a biblical passage, a devotional written by a member of the Biola community, a work of visual art and a piece of music.

Week one explores the theme of “Longing and Waiting” (Nov. 30 – Dec. 6), week two focuses on “The Coming of Christ” (Dec. 7-13), week three reflects on “Signs, Dreams and Angelic Visitations” (Dec. 14-20), week four ponders the reality that “Joy is Come Into the World” (Dec. 21-27), week five explores different facets of what “Christmas Is” (Dec. 28 – Jan. 3) and week six concludes with a liturgical celebration of “The Christ of Christmas” (Jan. 4-6).

You can read more here.  (At that same link, there is also a fantastic 4 minute video explaining what Advent is all about, with a focus on the “two postures” of Advent – looking back and rejoicing that Christ has come, and yet longing for His coming again and an end to all the brokenness we see in the world.)

Here’s the link to the Advent calendar where you’ll find each day’s entries.

Celtic Advent: 40 days of love, joy and gratitude

November 19, 2014

You’d think after 10 years of Advent blogging I’d know a lot about the history of Advent.  But I’m still learning new things! I just this year learned that the Celts celebrated Advent for 40 days, beginning on November 15, primarily focused on preparation for the Lord’s second coming.

The Contemplative Cottage blog has come up with a downloadable Advent Calendar which helps us focus on something to be thankful for everyday between now and Epiphany.

For each day, from November 15 until Epiphany, I’ve thought of one thing I can do to practice joy and gratitude, and to give love, putting it on a calendar that draws on ancient Advent and Christmas traditions.

In the 6th century, the Celtic Christians celebrated Advent during the 40 days before Christmas, as a mirror to the period of Lent before Easter.  In this age of  blurring of holy-days and consumerism, I like the idea of starting Advent earlier, so that Thanksgiving is included, but also so there can be a longer, more intentional preparation for Christ’s coming.

You can read more about the reasons for the calendar here.

The PDF file with the calendar is here

Oh… a VERY cool Advent idea: A Facebook Advent Calendar

November 10, 2014

Although Lent & Beyond is not on Facebook (yet?) this idea of creating a Facebook Advent calendar is intriguing to me.  What a wonderful way to witness during the Advent season and help reach out to others, urging them to prepare for Christ’s coming and make room in their hearts for Jesus….

How to Create a Facebook Advent Calendar

It’s giving me ideas too as to what we at L&B could do here on the blog, and/or via Twitter…. HMMMM….!

If any of our readers have good examples of online Advent calendars or blogs, we’d love to know about them.   How might you reach out to others this Advent via social media?   Think and pray about that….!

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