Advent Arrives at Our Door
Messages for the Season.
For the past six years, I’ve been solidly prepping my Christmas preaching series by now. Although to be fair, I’ve focused more on Advent than on a series on Christmas proper the last couple of years. I didn’t grow up observing Advent, except for the rare occasions my mom picked up a chocolate calendar from the local supermarket. For me, Advent was just a sugary countdown to presents under the tree.
It wasn’t until I became a pastor that I leaned more into the liturgical calendar and began preaching lectionary passages regularly. The lectionary has been a blessing, allowing me to engage with texts that wouldn’t ordinarily cross my desk, so to speak. As I meditated on a text, I would listen for the Spirit’s timely message to our congregation that week. This lectionary preaching practice also afforded me priceless opportunities to dialogue each week with other “lectionary preachers” who sharpened one another through conversation and reflection.
The Advent season is near the beginning of the liturgical calendar. Advent, meaning “arrival” or “coming,” alludes to the arrival of God in Christ Jesus, born approximately two thousand years ago, and the coming of Christ at the end of this age.
Two joyous occasions, one behind and one before us. In between, we live in the now-and-not-yet, an era where the hope of Christ pierces the darkness, and yet there are days, weeks, months, and years when we walk mostly in the dark while lightning bolts of hope infrequently flash around us, sometimes silent, sometimes thundering.
For me, Advent has become a time of hopeful waiting—waiting for God to come to us again in Christ Jesus fully glorified, yes, but also waiting for Christ to come to us by His Spirit right now—the Spirit of God with me in the dark cold mornings of an Iowa November, with me and my energetic retriever on a brisk, sunny afternoon walk, with me in the junior-high-school pickup line, with me making dinner, with me as I sleep.
If anything, I hope to pay better attention this Advent season, watching for both the silent and thundering kinds of lightning. Will you watch with me?
This past week, I dusted off my Advent messages from the past two years and wanted to share them with you. Honest Advent, inspired by a book by the same title, was last year’s theme. God in the Dark was CityChurch’s Advent theme for 2020, when our congregation was meeting on Zoom, still exiled from our meeting space and still very rarely engaging with one another in person.
Click here for these messages, and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Listen to and share them however you like. I pray they give you food for thought and inspiration for practicing this Advent season in a more prayerful, watchful manner.
All posts are free. Choose “paid” subscriber if you’d like to support my work. Thanks!
Visit my website at heatherweber.org for more information on Holistic Life and Leadership Coaching as well as current and upcoming creative projects.