I’m looking for a different Christmas experience this year- one with Christ at its center and space for reflection. I’ve been worshipping Christ for years; it’s the space for reflection part that eludes me. I knew I would need help pursuing this quest and my friend Jan Richardson stepped right up without even knowing it. She just published a new e-book entitled Through the Advent Door: Entering a Contemplative Christmas [Kindle Edition]. It’s structured in the style of a classic Advent calendar, with twenty five scripture reflections, each with an original piece of art.
My goal is to set aside a few moments to read and reflect every day between now and Christmas. I’ll be reading the entire book this year, but only blogging the first half of the readings. (The pressure of posting can hamper reflection.) Next year, the plan is to read it again and blog the last half. (Yes, you will want to read it again. It’s that good.) This is a book to savor, not just the words but also the art. Consider this your invitation to join me and Jan on this journey. – Lisa <><
PS- You might be asking, where did these readings come from? Mary and company don’t appear until Door 19.
First, it’s important to understand what Advent is. Advent is a deep season of preparation which helps us keep Christmas in the right perspective. (Click here to learn more about Advent. For a Christmas Reading Plan, click here)
For her book, Jan uses the classic Advent readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. The Revised Common Lectionary is a three year cycle of weekly Bible readings. Each weekly reading contains four Scripture readings: one from the Old Testament, one from the Book of Psalms, one from the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament), and one from the Epistles (basically the rest of the New Testament).
Door 1: Christ Will Come Again
Door 2: New Creation
Door 3: Strength to Stand
Door 4: Yearning and Resistance
Door 5: Let Your Face Shine
Psalm 80:1-7; 17-19
Door 6: Extending Blessing
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Door 7: Threshold
Door 8: Reversal and Repentance
Door 9: Rubbernecking or Responding
Door 10: The One Who Carries Us
Door 11: The Covenant Continues
Door 12: Two Simple Prayers
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
John 1:6-8, 19-28
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7