My Advent Tool Chest

There are a number of Advent “tools” I make use of to deepen the season and storm the battlements of my heart that have been built up during the year.

First, I hang my new Church Year calendar. The one I use is from University Hill Congregation called Salt of the Earth Christian Seasons Calendar. All the artwork is commissioned by University Hill and is superior. I give the calendar some serious time when it comes to get the rhythm of the year as they develop it. This calendar is not broken up into the usual one month per page. It is one season per page and so reminds me of the meaning of the time I am in. Useful.

Second, I pray the Divine Hours, as I usually do anyway. But I attempt to burrow in a bit deeper and recommit to keeping the Hours. I go here to find the morning, noon, evening prayers. Reading sculpted prayers helps keep me on track. Mostly they are from the Bible.

Third, I use my Mosaic Bible. This is a Bible that utilizes the Church Year. The content is arranged so that every week the reader has a variety of content for reading and reflection. Each week follows a theme appropriate to the Church season (such as Advent, Easter, etc). The content included for each week includes full-color art; Scripture readings; a historical reading; a contemporary reading; a prayer, creed, hymn or quote; and space for reflection.

Fourth, I focus on Advent and Christmas quotes. I have kept a file over the years to which I return and rehearse. I find new ones that stick, as my Pastor used to say, to the gummy side of the memory.

Fifth, I use an Advent devotional. This year it is John Piper’s The Dawning of Indestructible Joy.

Sixth, Advent readings in the Common Revised Lectionary focus on the Second Coming of Christ. So I try to spend more time attending to the sure coming of Jesus. As he came so he will come.


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