Advent Daybook, 23: Salvation Comes

Advent Daybook, 23: Salvation Comes

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

For an introduction read this post: Advent Daybook explained. You can see previous Advent daybook 2018 posts here.

Look: Nativity, unknown

Listen: “The Blessings of Mary” from The Sounding Joy, Elizabeth Mitchell & Friends

Read: Isaiah 62:6-12, Psalm 97, Titus 3:4-7, Luke 2:1-7, 8-20

Pray: ” O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.” (Book of Common Prayer, Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Advent)

Do: Listen to the live radio broadcast of King’s College Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols this morning.

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Advent Daybook, 22: O Emmanuel (God Is With Us)

Advent Daybook, 22: O Emmanuel (God Is With Us)

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

For an introduction read this post: Advent Daybook explained. You can see previous Advent daybook 2018 posts here.

Look: Annunciation, 1610, El Greco

Listen: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” from Medieval Christmas, Kemper Crabb

Read: Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:20b-23, Luke 1:46-55

Pray: “Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”

Do: Bless someone you know who’s had a difficult year with a secret gift.

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Turning the corner to Christmas (plus, a little early gift from me to you!)

ILLUSTRATIONS FOR A CHRISTMAS CAROL BY YELENA BRYKSENKOVA (SOURCE)

ILLUSTRATIONS FOR A CHRISTMAS CAROL BY YELENA BRYKSENKOVA (SOURCE)

And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!
— Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Dear friends,

What a joy these past three weeks have been contemplating together the mercy and marvel of the advent of Emmanuel. Every year I battle a sense of futility - that this quiet space is meaningless in the midst of our sometimes frenetic need to get to the cozy, chaotic celebration part of Christmas. Every year the Holy Spirit meets me again in the ancient, sober texts of the prophets and the fierce hope of the people of God. I want to be a woman of fierce hope, and to embrace every spark and glimmer of light that comes down from the Father in word, practice, prayer, and beauty. I want to consume this light until it radiates from the inside out to help push back the darkness in this weary world. 

Every year God meets me through you. I ponder your stories of meeting through these humble blog posts the once and coming again King, and receive them as gifts just as plain as the ones beginning to accumulate under our Christmas tree. That even one other person knows the God of Christ more nearly and dearly this year because of this holy compulsion of mine to sift through each Scripture and song and prayer is the greatest gift. Thank you for walking the Advent road along with me.

We are turning a corner friends. I often daydream that before I publish the final Advent post (just as I do when I'm writing the Lent Daybook posts) I'll hear a trumpet and see Christ descending from the sky, returning to once and for all make all things new. If this does not happen before Christmas Day, we are given the responsibility to celebrate as if He did. This is no postscript to Advent; this is the Main Event! It's time to pull out the stops, and take on the holy calling of Feasting!

Will you join me?

In the past few years, I've written a couple of posts about how our family has learned, failed, and learned again how to keep Christmas well.

12 Ways to Savor the 12 Days of Christmas

Family Liturgies For Christmas & My Mama's Rule For Feasting

Christmas Confessions From An Exhausted Dad {Brian's guest post}

I may or may not post each day through Christmas. Some years I have every post planned and written a month ahead of time, some years I take the series one day at a time, and some years - like this one - my preparation falls somewhere in between. The layout of the posts will look familiar; you could call them Advent Daybook lite.

  • Watch: I find myself ready for a bit less contemplation and a bit more lovely entertainment during feast days so in place of art and song, you’ll find a little video clip or short film (approx. 5 minutes or less) in each post. You could pretend each post is a little digital Christmas gift from me to you.

  • Read & Pray: I’ll include with a bit less fanfare the Scripture reading and prayer for those wanting to stay connected to the daily office lectionary.

  • Do: At the close of each post, I’ll include a simple activity to celebrate each of the 12 Days of Christmas.

If you’d like more playlist goodness for the coming weeks, I offer you the quirky, sometimes kitschy, a little bit emo, and often melancholy playlist I made when we lived so far away from my parents. Now we live far away from other people we love, but the title of the playlist will remain in honor of those first homesick years: Christmas Eve (for my Momma).

And a bit more traditional playlist (but still highlighting the lesser-known music of the season): Christmastide 2018.

For these last hours of Advent, may we know with assurance that He has come, He is coming, and He will come again! Hallelujah!

Tamara

p.s., I would love to hear about your own Advent journey! How has it been for you? Please feel free to drop me a comment below or send me a note

p.p.s., Here’s a little early Christmas gift for you from me. (and especially for my Mom who loves this song so much.)

 

Advent Daybook, 21: O Rex Gentium (King of the Nations)

Advent Daybook, 21: O Rex Gentium (King of the Nations)

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

For an introduction read this post: Advent Daybook explained. You can see previous Advent daybook 2018 posts here.

Look: Jesus Rides A White Horse, James B. Janknegt (source)

Listen: “O Come, All Ye Faithful” from Nine Lessons & Carols, The Choir of King’s College (Stephen Cleobury)

Read: Jeremiah 10:6-7, Haggai 2:6-9, Isaiah 2:2-4, 9:5, Ephesians 2:17-22, Matthew 21:33-42

Pray: O come, Desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of humankind; O bid our sad divisions cease, and be for us our Prince of Peace.”

Do: Spend at least 15 minutes sitting in silence. Don’t try to make anything happen during the time. Just be.

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Advent Daybook, 20: O Oriens (Radiant Dawn)

Advent Daybook, 20: O Oriens (Radiant Dawn)

An Advent daybook for these 24 days of prayerful expectation. Join me, won't you?

For an introduction read this post: Advent Daybook explained. You can see previous Advent daybook 2018 posts here.

Look: Grace Vessel — With Healing in His Wings, Grace Carol Bomer (source)

Listen: “There’s A Light” from Light of the Stable, Emmylou Harris

Read: Psalm 139:11-12, Hebrews 1:1-3, Malachi 4:1-3, Isaiah 9:1, 58:8-10, 60:1-3, 19, Revelation 22:16, Luke 1:78-79

Pray: “O come, O Dayspring from on high, and cheer us by your drawing nigh; disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death's dark shadow put to flight.”

Do: Turn off electric lights and technology for the evening.

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