Advent Ideas – Part II

This is a continuation of a series of Advent ideas (see part I here).  These thoughts are from my brother, Chris, published on one of his blogs in 2009.  Please pray for the repose of his soul as you read.I’m posting this under the patronage of St. Joseph, who with great quiet, obedience, love and humility, undertook the final preparations for the Word Made Flesh that very first Advent.  St. Joseph, pray for us.

Taking a turn through the Sacramental riches offered to us, we begin to prepare for the Feast…

(Tomorrow, mixing…)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Advent ideas II (kitchen countertop)

Hopefully the preceeding article got you going with some ideas.  Ideally you’ve skipped ahead and are working on something of your own.  If not feel free to “cook” with me for a bit over the next few days and weeks.  It may turn out to be a disapointing flop (atleast as a first version), but maybe it’ll get the ball rolling, your creative juices going, and your sacramental mouth watering..


… JMJ …

… Stocking the pantry..
At some point all ideas need to start making it into a real form in the real world, and usually the sooner the better. So the first thing I did was grab whichever program I had handiest that could type, format, print, and save..   My email program in this case.  I then pulled a little window over the grocery store post and jotted down each idea that seemed to resonate. Like so..
These ideas I call my advent pantry. I probably won’t limit myself to them, but I can be pretty sure there’s something there that I’m supposed to be starting-from and building-with. Sure enough, something’s coalescing..
Daily routine..  Advent calendar..  Journey to Bethlehem..  Maps..  Mangers..
Spilling out onto the countertop..
  • Daily routine..
Starting each day of advent off with scriptural immersion and prayer is a great advent idea…  Trouble is, it tends to stay a great idea and never get any further.
  • Advent calendar..
A huge childhood delight during advent is the advent calendar.  They can take many forms, but the essential part is the routine of a daily prize leading up to Christmas day.  The prize could be getting to hang a new ornament out on the tree, a new figure for the nativity scene, or even just a small bit of candy.  It doesn’t take  much to get the mini ritual established.
  • Journey to Bethlehem..
Often forgotten (anyways I never remembered) during advent is the homelessness of the Holy Family during this time.. Nazareth was about 80 miles of dangerous, dirty travel from Bethlehem where St. Joseph was compelled to go for the census..  Mary was near 8 months pregnant at the time.. That journey probably took about the same length of time as advent now does..
..enough rich mental imagery  to last a few weeks if some kind of prize can be found to frame and go with it..
  • Maps..
Travel in ancient Judea is not like driving through Kansas. We can say this and think it, but what really helps is to see it.. If you’re St. Joseph do you take the path of quiet and solitude while picking out a way among boulders and hill country or do you take the easier path of the jostling cursing groups traveling along the thief-infested trade-routes?
  • Mangers..
With the benefit of 2000 years hindsight we know almost exactly where the Holy family was going.. they didn’t.  That bears some thought.  What’s a young couple usually doing as they approach the birth of their little one?  Mom and Dad are cleaning, arranging, and outfitting a mere residence to make it into an actual home. St. Joseph and Our Lady couldn’t do this for Jesus.  Perhaps we can.  Spiritual gifts anyway..
Opening containers and mingling aromas
All ideas can look good on paper, especially at the broad-strokes details-sketchy stage, and it really beats staring at pixels.  The next step is getting these crisp ideas onto something you can fill-in, doodle-on, cut-up, mix-together and stare-at..
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