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Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Advent: Another Opportunity for Evangelicals to Re-Connect with Our Spiritual Heritage

My wife and I decided a year or so ago to become more actively invovled as a family with the calendar of the Western church and its various observances. Like many American evangelicals, we were not very familiar with large parts of our spiritual heritage growing up. At least not with much of anything that occurred prior to 1900. A lack of knowledge of our precious church history continues to plague vast sections of American evangelicalism today. Over the last decade, however, many evangelicals have experienced a desire to deepen their connections with the brothers and sisters who have gone before us. We lose so much when we are not consciously connected with the rich, deep roots of the Church. Corporate and private observances of ancient celebrations and liturgies is a wonderful way to keep our hearts and minds connected with other believers around the world, past and present.

Advent is
"the first season of the liturgical year." The common theme of the first candle of Advent is "hope." My wife explained the significance of the wreath to our kids and spoke of God's eternal nature as symbolized by the circular wreath. She explained the candles and their colors and what each represented. Following the lead of my pastor this past Sunday, I then read Isaiah 42:1-4 and commented on the hope of the Second-coming of Jesus Christ and the justice He will establish throughout the earth. Our girls always seem to learn so much from times like these. It still amazes me at times how much they retain and their questions give us further opportunities to build them up in their faith. Oftentimes, they contribute additional insights of their own that we hadn't even touched on. I would encourage parents to create moments like these to share together as a family. Don't worry about doing it exactly right, just do it and be creative. And to my fellow evangelicals: don't throw the baby out with the bathwater by avoiding historic Christian observances because you think its too "Catholic!" Sometime we Protestants might protest a little too much. Observances such as Advent can be a very meaningful way to prepare us for the Spirit's leading and help to spur us on to further conformity to the image of Christ.

Here are a few links to get you started:
Advent for Evangelicals
Celebrating Advent with Kids
The Season of Advent, Anticipation and Hope
Advent Calendar, The Spiritual Countdown
Online Advent Calendar, 25 Days of Advent

Through a glass darkly,
Jeff

4 comments:

  1. A hearty AMEN to that. Here's to a blessed advent season for all of us. Thank you for the link to my Advent for Evangelicals blog.

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  2. Here's to a blessed advent season for all of us.
    Yes, thank you.

    Thank you for the link to my Advent for Evangelicals blog.
    You're welcome! I was excited to find your site. My wife has been looking for good Advent sites and will be excited to see yours.

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  3. Hey PT,

    I like the new look of your BLOG. Very Cool. I haven't visited for a while. "avoiding historic Christian observances because you think its too "Catholic". I think it is good to remember what we have in common; the love and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Many blessings to you and your family.

    Catie

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  4. I like the new look of your BLOG. Very Cool. I haven't visited for a while.

    Thanks, Catie!

    I think it is good to remember what we have in common; the love and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Totally agree. Our differences are real but what we have in common is significant.

    Many blessings to you and your family.

    Same to you and yours!

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