Last year I spent the weeks before Christmas exploring my friend Jan Richardson’s 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 was to set aside a few moments to read and reflect every day between December 1 and December 25. I read the entire book, but only blogged the first half of the readings. (The pressure of posting can hamper reflection. You will find links to last year’s posts below.) This year, the plan is to read it again and blog the last half of the book. (Yes, this is one of those book you want to read again. It’s that good.)
This is a book to savor, not just the words but also the art. Through it you will find space for blessing and centering. 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, Joseph 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. Advent means coming, so its a time of reflection on the coming of Christ as the babe of Bethlehem and the coming of Christ in at the end of the age.
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
Door 13: To Know and Be Known
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Door 14: I Am Not, Therefore I Am
John 1:6-8, 19-28
Door 15: Preparing the Way
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7