Moving Through Advent

by Christine Sine

Well Thanksgiving is well and truly over, the Christmas tree is up, the house decorated and we are well into the first week of Advent.

Decorating the tree

Decorating the tree

We will soon be into a season of Christmas entertaining beginning with our MSA Board meeting and dinner this weekend.  I plan to make my first batch of Scottish shortbread tonight – the recipe having been handed down by my Scottish grandmother.  I will probably make at least half a dozen batches between now and New Year.  I think that some of our friends only come to our open house and Advent celebration because they want some more of my shortbread.  Yesterday we sampled my English style fruitcake which has been slowly maturing over the last few weeks.  That recipe is straight from the Australian Women’s Weekly Celebration cookbook but it is hard to beat.    Both of these traditions are very special to me and make feel that the season of Advent has definitely arrived.

I love this season of the year.  Each morning Tom and I light the appropriate candles on our Advent wreath, listen to Gregorian Advent chants and read the scriptures of the day from the Book of Common Prayer after breakfast.  We read them again at our morning prayers at the Mustard Seed House.

For me it is a wonderful way to start the day that helps focus me on the real meaning of the season.  One of the verses from today’s Psalm has revolved around in my mind all day

In the morning Lord you hear my voice;

In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly (Psalm 5:3)

I am waiting expectantly this year for the Advent of Christ.  the turmoil of the world around and the anxieties that everyone is feeling regarding the economy add to my need for quiet contemplation  After a hectic few days of entertaining it is good to be able to reflect and relax a little – even if it is only for a few minutes each morning.  I find that this discipline nourishes my soul and restores my life rhythm.

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