Join Our Photo Challenge for Advent

by Christine Sine

Reflection of hope

The beginning of Advent is just over a month away and it is time to think about what you want to do to celebrate the season. The longer and the more intentionally we think about an event before it happens, the more it fills our consciousness. The stores are way ahead of us with Christmas decorations and gifts already prominently on display. They know that the stronger the messages the more they shape our ideas, and they want to make sure it is their ideas of how to celebrate that are at the forefront of our minds.

There are alternatives however.

Advent Photo Challenge

Jean Andrianoff has put together a wonderful series of photo prompts – promise, fulfillment and reflection – for each day of Advent to create a beautiful Advent Photo Challenge. Jean says:

Photos capture reflected light. As you meditate on these Advent photo prompts, look for images that reflect the light and hope of fulfilled promises.

This exciting spiritual practice invites us into another experience of photography, a contemplative practice which beckons us to slow down, take notice, savour what we see, and enter into a sacred encounter with our God.

I hope that you will join me in making this one of your Advent practices. Download the free pdf here. Let us know you plan to join us and get ready to share your photos, post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #MSAPhotoChallenge and we will create a gallery for each day.

Because Advent is such a busy time for me I plan to begin my photo challenge now – a month early. I will take photos during the month of November, post them on Godspace and then use them as prompts for reflection during Advent itself.

I am doing this as a way to prepare for this important season of the year. I will I know, make this a far more reflective Advent practice and a more relaxed celebration of the season that leads up to our remembrance of the birth of Christ.

I also wanted to remind you of our theme for Advent this year Leaning Towards the Light  and challenged you to consider the following questions as you prepare:

  1. How can I prepare inwardly for this season and maintain a balanced life that radiates the joy, love and light of Jesus to those I meet?
  2. How can I reach out to others in ways that will have a lasting effect and enable them to lean in more fully towards the light of Christ?
  3. How can I ignite the flame in others so that they too will radiate the light of Christ?

We hope that you will join us in both preparing for and celebrating the season of Advent this year.

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13 comments

April S. October 28, 2015 - 6:39 am

The links on here do not not seem to be working. I am interested in learning more!

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Christine Sine October 28, 2015 - 6:44 am

April try it again and let me know – I refreshed the page and I think it is working

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chaplaineliza October 28, 2015 - 6:42 am

I am so sorry. I tried to download the pdf file for Advent. “File not found.” Can you check it out and see what’s the matter? Thanks!

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Christine Sine October 28, 2015 - 6:43 am

Try it again now and let me know – I refreshed the page & it seems to be working

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chaplaineliza October 28, 2015 - 12:19 pm

I did it! Thank you so much. I want to use these Advent meditations on my daily blog for 2015. Each month, I am focusing on a different way of praying. In October, I am using The Oxford Book of Prayer. September was a challenge! I tried Centering Prayer each day. (Meditation and wordless centering on God is not my forte.) Each month has brought something different.

For Advent/December, I would like to pray each day with your lovely photographs and prayer prompts. I’m looking forward to it! (And in case you would like to check out my prayer blog, it’s at https://matterofprayerblog.wordpress.com )

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jeanne doyon October 28, 2015 - 6:49 am

I love this! I am hosting a blog series for Advent called, Treasure the Quiet Moments. Would you consider being a guest?

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Christine Sine October 28, 2015 - 6:56 am

Certainly will consider it. Email me the details

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Bev Wilson October 28, 2015 - 10:50 am

Christine, I was able to download the pdf – so the problem is fixed.
I would like to join this Advent journey.
Do I have to log in anywhere and what facebook page will we be using?
thanks to both you and Jean for this beautiful offering.

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Christine Sine October 28, 2015 - 3:29 pm

Bev – good question. We plan to use the Mustard Seed Associates group rather than page as that will allow people to post their own photos. We will post the prompt each morning and then go from there. As long as people use the #MSAphotochallenge hashtag we should be able to find photos on twitter and instagram too. We will give more instructions as the time approaches.

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lanitaames November 23, 2015 - 11:03 am

Hi Christine,
My name is Lanita and I just wanted to say thank you for this. I did a photo challenge last year for Advent while I was serving as a Young Adult Volunteer in Hollywood working with the community of people living homelessly. It was a reflective and spiritually refreshing time for me that I greatly enjoyed. I am excited to use your model this year as I love how you have it set out. I read all of your “About” pages and am just in awe of how God works through Google. 🙂 Let me explain. I merely googled “advent photo challenge” and only intended on picking a picture of one that I could tailor to my needs. Godspace happened to be the first suggestion to pop up, but I didn’the originally click on it. Sorry. I did, obviously, later click on the link to see what it was like as many of the other “challenges” were a little to trivial for my Advent tradition. I got to reading everything and saw how God works. My coordinator in Hollywood is a current student at Fuller Seminary, my former housemate and many of my friends went to Whitworth University, and I greatly considered (and still consider it an option) working with Mercy Ships as I am an Registered Nurse. I have also always wanted to go to New Zealand, which is just a personal commonality. 🙂 Thank you again for posting this challenge and I am thankful to God for working through Google.com. 🙂
-Lanita

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Christine Sine November 23, 2015 - 1:07 pm

Lanita,
Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm for our Advent photo challenge and for telling me about some of your background too. I look forward to seeing how you participate in this and maybe we can meet at sometime in the future – especially if you end up at Whitworth you will need to come through Seattle.

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