Can I do that, turn a noun into a verb? Is Advent a verb? What is Advent all about anyways?
Advent begins this coming Sunday, a four-week season leading followers of Jesus to Christmas. If you don't know much about Advent, are curious, or would like some help "to Advent," here are a few fine resources to guide you.
The first is an interview I recently held with musician Steve Bell on our church's podcast, Faith Matters. Steve is a gifted musician and song-writer, who has produced an Advent/Christmas album (The Feast of Seasons) that is a regular part of my Advent playlist. He also has authored a seven-book series on the spirituality of the Christian calendar year
called Pilgrim Year. Each volume is a skinny book, a readable and rich introduction to each of the different Christian seasons. The intereview is a lovely wide-ranging conversation where we talk about our created limits, how we inhabit time, walking, music, the seed of God's life within us, feast days, Survivor, all weaving in and out around the season of Advent.
If you're looking for other Advent resources, here's a few that I recommend:
A new book on the Advent season from Tish Harrison Warren called Advent: the season of hope. It's a skinny but mighty book in which Tish delivers a hefty cargo of rich Advent themes.
In the podcast interview, Steve mentions Malcolm Guite's Waiting on the Word, a volume of poems for the Advent and Christmas season. Malcolm is a magician as he weaves words and leaves you in wonder - which is an entirely perfect posture for the Advent season.
The Art of Advent: a painting a day from Advent through Epiphany, by Jane Williams, is a visual walk through Advent via works of art. It's an exercise of visio divina where artists lead out in telling the good news of God's coming in Jesus.
God with Us, edited by Greg Pennoyer and Gregory Wolfe. This is a book I've had for years on my bookshelf, a series of Advent devotionals by different authors that provides rich Advent contemplations.
I haven't yet purchased these but I want them - Advent Prayer cards by Phaedra and David Taylor. You can check them out here.
Fleming Rutledge's Advent: the once and future coming of Christ is a theological powerhouse. The book is a compilation of Fleming's sermons (I can't read them without hearing her lovely southern drawl) from the Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany seasons. They are less an invitation to prepare for Christmas and instead a call to seriously prepare for the second coming of Jesus and His final judgement.
Seeking God's Face - I've written and compiled a year-long prayer book that follows the Christian calendar and includes an introduction to each of the seasons, including Advent. The publisher has a free sample of the Advent season you can download here.
And music, lots of good music - I'll post something next week on the Advent and Christmas music you'll likely hear in my car or home.