Today is the first Sunday in Advent, the four weeks preceding Christmas. Tradition marks this day as the beginning of a new liturgical year in the Church. During Advent Christians prepare, pray, and wait for the coming of the Savior on Christmas. Christians, in solidarity with Mary’s ninth month, join her in a time of spiritual pregnancy.
I love Advent because it slows me down and creates a nesting time during the most frenetic time of the year. Special reading and praying helps me to focus on Jesus and his coming anew into my life. It’s a little late, I know, but I’m still not sure what I’ll do this year. I’m waiting for God to give me an 11th hour soulstorm.
For the past few years, I have marked the countdown until Christmas using an Advent calendar. A couple of examples are below. One uses a calendar template; the other uses free form shapes. On the calendar, I pray for family and friends. I also pray and meditate on the words and phrases associated with Advent–“Be it unto me,” Maranatha, Savior, Watch….
Cindy O’s 2009 Calendar
Used with Permission
My 2008 Calendar