Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 27: Advent Begins

We lit the first candle in the Advent wreath tonight, and I read a brief passage from a book about what the Advent wreath symbolizes.

And then the Man, who is a Southern Baptist down to his toes, said, "You boys should know that there are no Advent wreathes in the Bible."

I was very good and refrained from mentioning that there are no Christmas trees or Santa Clauses in the Bible, either, and that Jesus never had to get up on Sunday morning, put on a nice shirt, and go to church.

The boys will figure all that out soon enough.

I brought up my Advent plan in Sunday school this morning. The class I'm taking is on Food and Faith, and something about asceticism came up. I said I was going to try to eat simply in order to enjoy the Christmas feast later, and someone pointed out that once upon time Advent practices more closely mirrored Lenten practices, and people did indeed fast as a way of preparing for Christ.

We'll see if I stick to it. I often have grand Advent schemes. I have lots of Advent books with daily readings, and I'm pretty good about reading them for the first two weeks. And then the Christmas craziness kicks in, and I'm lucky to get my teeth brushed and remember to pick up the children for school.

Jack asked if he could skip youth group tonight, so he could be there to light the Advent candles before dinner. This could have been a scam, and might well have been a scam, except Jack loves Christmas more than any child on earth (he's almost thirteen, and he still counts down the days, starting November 25th--"Only one month until Christmas!"), and he likes traditions and rules and ceremonies. So we let him skip youth group. After all, there is no youth group in the Bible.

Some folks in our neighborhood already have Christmas decorations up. In the past, pre-December Christmas decorations made me grouchy and grumpy and had me writing letters to the editor, at least in my head. But this year I've decided to let it go. I won't resist. If people want to celebrate Christmas year-round, let them. None of my beeswax.

There are bees in the Bible, by the way. You could look it up.


Gumbo Lily said...

There are candles in the Bible (lampstands) and there is The Light of The World too. I love Advent. I love lighting the candles too and singing the songs. I'm glad Jack got to miss youth group for lighting the Advent candle.

Blessed Advent to you, Frances.

GretchenJoanna said...

Great post. Amen to everything that Jody says about light and candles. You are a trooper, Frances.

wayside wanderer said...

I love Advent and was very happily surprised when we got to our new church this morning and there was a lighting of the first candle and Scripture reading to go with it. I thought maybe that wouldn't be happening here because this church is far less liturgical than our last one. I love focusing on Christ's birth and return at the same time. This is such a season of HOPE!

Pom Pom said...

Lots of chuckles here, Frances.
I haven't put up our tree yet. I'll wait until December for you.

magsmcc said...

I did look up the bees: three references in my concordnace, and lots of honey- mostly either milk and honey or brutal Samson stuff! I've just started my first ever Advent devotional- can't imagine I'll even get to two weeks, based on past track record!! Enjoy your last fews daily days!

Tracy said...

I was chatting with one of the Yr6's today (when we should have been working, but, know...) and I told him I love Christmas but hate the getting there because I don't like shopping. I think online shopping might be my ticket to combat the "Bah-Humbug's".

Miss Sunshine counts down from about 100 days out. Jolly annoying, that girl. She's 15 so I'm pretty sure some of that counting down has to do with gleefully annoying her mother.

The dB family said...

I like Jack. I like Advent too and traditions and rituals. There is much comfort in them.