Written by Gerald Boerner
Today we start a series on the 24 days of the Advent Calendar. Advent is a Church celebration of looking to the nativity of Jesus Christ and formally begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The Advent Calendar, by Old World Traditions, starts on December 1st. The calendar has twenty-four doors with a Bible verse, toy or some other treat behind it. One door is opened on each day of the Advent month, culminating with Christmas Eve. Check out the previous post from earlier this week for more information about Advent Traditions. For each day of this Advent season, we will add one of these posts with devotionals prepared by the Lutheran Hour Ministries for your enjoyment and celebration of the true intent of this Christmas season.
Take this as an opportunity to sit down with your family and focus your family members. I hope that it might help take our attention off of the commercialization of the Christmas season and refocus it to the real meaning of Christmas. Even though I am using devotions from the Lutheran Hour, the content applies to both Protestants and Catholics alike. Use the scripture reading from your favorite version of the Bible to get the observance started.
Please enjoy this exploration of the concepts that look forward to both the nativity of Christ and the Second Coming of Christ… GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
[ 1298 Words ]
Quotations Related to Advent:
“A poem conveys not a message so much as the provenance of a message, an advent of sense.”
— Thomas Harrison
“After the advent of the written word, the masses who could not – or were not permitted to – read, were given sermons by the few who could.”
— Theodore Bikel
“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.”
— Karl Rahner
“The salvation of the elect was as certain before His advent, though accomplished by it, as afterwards.”
— John Nelson Darby
Celebrating Advent: Day 35, The 11th Day of Advent…
An Advent calendar is a special calendar which is used to count or celebrate the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. Some calendars are strictly religious, whereas others are secular in content. Despite the name, most commercially available Advent calendars begin on December 1, regardless of when Advent begins, which can be as early as November 27 and as late as December 3.
Today, most Advent calendars are made for children. Many take the form of a large rectangular card with "windows" of which there are often 24; one for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. One is opened every day during Advent. In many of these calendars, each window opens to reveal an image, a poem, or a portion of a story such as the story of the Nativity of Jesus. More elaborate Advent calendars have a small gift concealed in each window, such as a toy or a chocolate item.
The traditional calendar consists of two pieces of card stock on top of each other. Twenty-four doors are cut out in the top layer, with a number ranging from one to twenty-four on each. Beginning on the first day of December, one door is opened each day, counting down the days remaining until Christmas Eve, from one to twenty-four where the 24th door often holds an extra surprise like an extra large piece of chocolate. Some modern calendars are labeled as "countdown calendars" and are designed to start at number 24 and count down to number 1 so the number of days until Christmas can be easily determined. Each compartment displays an image, which can be either a feature of the Nativity story and the birth of Jesus or a piece of paraphernalia to do with Christmas (e.g., bells or holly).
Advent Devotions 2011
God’s unfailing love at Christmas is a source of strength in all seasons. But what if you’re picking up the pieces from a disaster that wiped out everything-or you can’t find work-or your marriage is on the rocks-or you’ve lost a loved one?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find again the joy and peace that Christmas is all about? In Transforming This Christmas, Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Theological Writer/Editor, Pastor Wayne Palmer shows how God can raise you above it all as He transforms this Christmas for you.
In Transforming This Christmas you will find that every year we hope this will be a Christmas to remember- a time of true joy and peace. But how can it be if you’re picking up the pieces from a hurricane, tornado, fire or drought- if you’re still unemployed after months or years of searching- if your marriage is disintegrating- if you’re living with constant health problems- if you lost a dear loved one this year?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this Christmas we could rise above the turmoil in our lives? Wouldn’t it be great if you could really find joy and peace despite all the burdens you carry and the mad, hectic preparations for Christmas? Join us for our Christmas devotions and watch God raise you above it all as He transforms this Christmas for you.
Day 35 Devotional…
"OVERFLOWING JOY, 11th Day of Christmas"
By Rev. Wayne Palmer
December 04, 2011
Read Matthew 2:9-11.
And going into the house they saw the child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him… (Matthew 2:11a)
Few people enjoy Christmas more than children. Simply recall their unbridled enthusiasm and the wonder and jubilation beaming from their faces as they rush down the stairs on Christmas morning. The joy of the wise men might have actually topped theirs. Matthew says, "When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy."
The Magi travelled a long way to see Jesus. They heard God’s Word telling them where His Son would be born. They saw the star go ahead of them until it stood over the house, and they saw the King of Israel-probably only a toddler at the time. They fell before Him and presented Him their precious gifts.
What an amazing picture! These weren’t children running down the hall to see the presents waiting for them under the tree. These were grown men-important, dignified, well-educated men. Yet they were gripped by an incredible joy impossible for them to contain.
We know so many things they didn’t know. We know this was God’s eternal Son. We know He came to live the perfect life we can’t. We know He grew up to heal the blind, deaf and lame, to drive out demons and raise the dead. We know He died on the cross and rose again to give us eternal life. But with all of that, do we share their overwhelming joy at our Savior’s birth, life, death and resurrection for us?
Lord Jesus, fill me with joy at Your first coming to save us from our sins. Then on the Day You return to judge the living and the dead fill me with overwhelming joy to worship and praise You forever. Amen.
[ from: Advent Devotions by the Lutheran Hour Ministries web page (see References) ]
Epiphany: Katy Stake Christmas Choir (2008) "I Saw Three Ships"… (4:14)
Background information is from Wikipedia articles on:
Wikipedia: Advent Calendar…
Lutheran Hour Ministries: Advent Devotions…
Lutheran Hour Ministries: Daily Devotions: Day 35…
Brainy Quote: Advent Quotes…
Other Posts on related Topics:
Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Advent: Traditions & Meditations…
Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Holiday Season: Advent…
Prof. Boerner’s Explorations: Advent Traditions…