by Christine Sine
Last week I talked about the fact that I planned to celebrate Celtic Advent this year which begins November 15th and covers the 40 days before Christmas. My theme for the year is I choose joy and it has been fun to think about how I will mark this celebration in a way that is meaningful and that grows my faith as I move towards the manger and our celebration of Christ’s birth. I challenge you to do the same over the next week before the festive season deluges you with busyness and overindulgence.
Today I put together my Advent garden – a little different from previous years as, at least at this point, I don’t have any candles in it, though that will probably change. Its hard for me to think about the wonder of Christ’s light coming into our world without celebrating with candles.
This year’s garden incorporates a spiral path, marking my own journey towards the birth of Christ. I love the spiral, it is present in so many parts of God’s created world, and seems like a very appropriate symbol for the season. I have painted stones for each week with the prompts choose joy, tend joy, embrace joy, share joy, grow joy and celebrate joy on them. These stones have slowly accumulated on my altar this week, reminding me to focus on the joy spots in my life.
What Is Your Response?
Visiting our local mall yesterday I was horrified to see that the Christmas decorations are already fully present. We are moving rapidly into the festive season and I want to challenge all of us once more to take time to consider how we will prepare not for the festivities so much as for the inner change that God desires to bring about in our hearts at this season. How will we embrace the true joy that God so longs to see blossom in our hearts?