Monday, December 19, 2016

Advent Week Four-DIY and looking ahead

As we approach the end of the Advent season and near the beginning of Christmas, it may seem impractical to still be talking about different types of Advent calendars. During the final week of Advent, perhaps you can find ways to include some of these ideas into your present Advent traditions or get planning for next year.
Many modern Advent calendars don’t align with the Liturgical season of Advent but follow a design of “24-day countdown” to Christmas. And while Advent is in a way a “countdown,” from a theological standpoint, it is better viewed as a time to prepare oneself for the coming of Christ. Get a head start on Advent 2017 with some of these DIY Advent calendar ideas, with suggestions on how to adapt them into a more traditionally religious Advent calendar.
       1) Envelope Advent Calendar- This envelope themed calendar can easily be modified to include daily scripture, quotes, or ideas for reflection. Choose themes such as hope, joy, love, and peace to help you and your family prepare for the coming of Jesus.
     2) 25 Random Acts of Kindness Calendar- The holidays are an exciting and joyous time but there is often an underlying feeling of chaos and anxiety for many people. Take the time to spread some joy and kindness around with this calendar, creating a different idea each day of Advent. Another example, with a calendar template, can be found here.
      3) Advent in a jar- Short on space? This DIY calendar is for you. While the instructions suggest adding daily messages and activities, you could also incorporate Advent scripture and mediations that help you and your loved ones partake in the journey of Advent.

Advent Scripture Resources

Calendar Ideas

General Advent Resources

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  • "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
  • "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
  • "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
  • "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
  • "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
  • "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
  • "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball