Advent Traditions: When Old Becomes New

Sunday, December 1st marks the beginning of Advent. Advent is a time of expectation, a time when we are waiting; waiting for the birth of a baby that promises to be life-changing for a world that desperately needs change. The theme for our Advent Sundays this year is Traditions: When Old Becomes New. In this Advent series, we hope to bring the texts that were written hundreds of years ago to life in the modern world. The traditions of the past hold great meaning and value in our lives today. How do we re-purpose some of our older traditions and find meaning in today’s world? It would be similar to using a piece of old fabric found in our grandmother’s closet to make something new that we can use today and be linked to our grandmother.  
The first Sunday in Advent will unveil the first part of a progressive Liturgical Art piece. The artwork was created using one of the texts from the first Sunday in Advent: Isaiah 2:1-5, reading from The Message, a translation by Eugene Peterson. The first Sunday will help prepare us for what is to come. It will focus us on the expectation of the birth of Jesus.
The second Sunday in Advent will start to center us on who Jesus might be and what Jesus is expected to bring us. How will things be different? The Liturgical Artwork will continue to develop and show movement, as the Sanctuary begins to transform through the use of common and traditional items, but in a non-traditional way.
The third Sunday in Advent will feature the musical voices in our congregation. The choir will be performing Behold A Mystical Rose during the worship service. As we get closer to the birth of Jesus, we start to prepare in more intentional ways. The way is prepared by John the Baptist. What are we preparing for? Again the Liturgical Artwork progresses in the Sanctuary. What is happening? What could the art be reflecting? How is it speaking to each of us as we sit in our sacred space?
The fourth Sunday of Advent sees the Liturgical Artwork in its final stage. We also have now come to the place in our texts when the baby is born and named. How important is this birth of Jesus to us today? Is the birth of Jesus just old news, or can it still have the excitement and carry the anticipation that it did hundreds of years ago? How do we take the old and make it new for us, so this great story doesn’t get lost in the commercialization of Christmas?  
We also have some wonderful opportunities to encourage all of us to be more engaged in the Advent season. Every Sunday before worship at 9:45am we will be singing Christmas carols in the Sanctuary.  Starting on December 8th at 8:45am in the Chapel, we will be offering a time to reflect on the Advent Devotionals. Advent Devotionals will be in the pews this week. Please pick one up to take home. The devotionals begin on December 1st, the first day of Advent.
We invite you to a time of expectation, a time of re-visiting the old, and a time to find something new in the midst of the old. We invite you to experience Advent in a way that might make December 2013 a blessing to all of us, as we try to make room for this amazing child in our lives. Join us for devotions, for hymn singing, for creative Liturgical Art, for worship and for community!
 
~ Eldonna Hazen
 

Posted on November 19, 2013 at 10:44 am in Featured Content.

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