Along Right Pathways by Susan+
One Day at a Time
As the earth dances her wobbly way around the sun, we, in this part of the universe, experience shorter, darker days, until the solstice when the reverse begins. As the lucrative consumer game greets December with a vengeance, the frenetic countdown begins…24 more shopping days, 23, 22…and even online we note the assurance of ‘delivery before Christmas guaranteed’ with some skepticism.
But in church land the tone is different. We are not counting down but rather looking forward. We light another candle each week on the Advent Wreath to mark, not deepening darkness, but the growing of light, the light of Christ. And ever popular Advent calendars mark the daystowards the celebration of our Saviour’s birth.
Advent calendars were first used by German Lutherans early in the 19th century. Traditional calendars feature the manger scene, often behind window #24, angels and shepherds, as well as verses of scripture or short prayers for Christians to incorporate into their daily Advent devotions! Winter landscapes, Christmas markets and a variety of secular Santa scenes are also common themes. But there are a plethora of ‘calendars’ now available, from ones with fabric pockets within which to hide tiny gifts, to Lego, food, wine, sports and cartoon heroes, among other things, as well as the ubiquitous chocolate versions.
As we mark Advent days, and run, or plod, or waltz along the path towards Christmas, we could easily incorporate spiritual disciplines into our lives. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Why not simply remember, in prayer, one person in need of the assurance of God’s guidance, healing and love, each day? And, or, pray for a different concern, a situation somewhere around the world, climate or social justice issues, each day? Keep track and, on Christmas, offer them again to the Lord, with thanksgiving! Open a window of prayer each day during the season, and let Christ’s light in!