This year I’ve put together a practice for Advent that is very simple. It is built around the idea of giving and receiving gifts. You can do this alone or along with others (including and especially children!). If you miss a day, that’s ok… I suggest you find a consistent place where you can do your reading, daily practice, and leave your gift box/jar.
This is what I am using myself this year and it’s a gift for you. It’s free and you are welcome to share it with as many others as you like.
What you need:
A box or jar
Scraps of paper
We are taking the approach of slow, repetitive, meditative reading. There is one scripture passage for each week. Therefore, you can read it in small amounts each day/when you read or you can choose to read the entire passage (or parts thereof) several times during the week.
For the week beginning 27 November, read Matthew chapters 1-2
For the week beginning 4 December, read John 1:1-18
For the week beginning 11 December, read Luke chapter 1
For the week beginning 18 December, read Luke chapter 2
You might choose to do your reading before or after this daily practice
* Light candle – a reminder that this is a special time and season of focusing on God’s gifts.
* Think of one gift you are thankful for today. Write or draw a picture or symbol of this on a scrap of paper.
* Pray for a specific person, situation, or place – what gift do you want to ask God for them? Write or draw a picture or symbol of this on a scrap of paper.
* Place both scraps of paper in your jar or box. As you progress through Advent you will be able to see the gift grow.
* If you are doing this with others, you might choose to talk and pray about some of these gifts with one another.
* When you are done with your time, blow out the candle.
You might want to also decorate your jar or box. When you are done, it could go under your Christmas tree or in a visible place to recognise THESE gifts you have received and given during this Advent season.