This was my first year to celebrate Advent. It is not something that has been a part of my tradition or religious background in the past.
This year some friends introduced me to an advent study For All by Sacred Holidays. It was a workbook with a session to study each day for the three weeks leading up to Christmas. I decided quickly that I wanted, that I needed to do this. And having a group of friends to debrief the study with was also very helpful.
I got so excited about Advent that I began studying on my own. As I did the introduction to my Advent study in preparation, God begin speaking to me about how I could share during Advent with others who might also not be familiar with this practice. I suddenly had an idea to do a series of Advent videos each Sunday during the season. (links at the bottom)
So Advent became for me something pretty significant. Not only was I committed to carving out time each day to do my personal study book, but I was also creating a video each week to share with others. It was such a good motivator for me to study and really listen to what God was saying during this season.
Several things stand out to me that I learned during this time. I saw parallels between Christ’s first and second coming that I had never considered before. I learned to see peace as “completeness”, and Christ as the completer of all things. I saw how the prophets Anna and Simeon got to see Christ because they were anxiously waiting and anticipating and looking for him. So many parts of the birth story stood out to me in new ways this year.
I also learned a lot personally in this journey. To navigate technology more independently. To be more flexible in my planning and be comfortable with sometimes working down to the wire. To trust God to use me, sometimes in spite of myself. That even things you really want to do can sometimes feel very hard in the moment, but you must persevere.
It’s a bit sad that Advent and the Christmas season are over. But I will try to hold some of that anticipation and expectation for Christ’s return in my heart for all year.
Links to Advent Videos: