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Advent Bible Study - first thoughts


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#1 Barbara

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 01:14 PM

Several people have said how they missed the regular Bible Studies on CMs so we have agreed to try again and I will try to set us going on a few threads on Advent related topics.   These studies are dependent on people joining in the discussions.

 

So.....

 

In some parts of the church, Advent Sunday is the birthday of the Church, the start of a new year.   For others, it is just another Sunday with no real significance except, possibly, for the proliferation of Christmas reminders in the shops.  

 

As a starter, how important is Advent in your life?  

 

What are your first thoughts about the meaning of Advent?

 

In the Anglican Communion the colour of Advent is purple, denoting a time of penitence.   How does penitence fit in with your understanding of Advent?


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#2 BecD

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 01:48 PM

For me advent has historically been a time of waiting for Christmas with an advent calendar. We never had a chocolate one as children and had to take it in turns to open a door!

Our church doesn't do advent but this current church does at least seem to be excited about Christmas! One church we were at managed to not reference Christmas until the Christmas eve service one year!!

I'm not totally sure what I believe about advent but I am trying to spend more time focusing on the reason for the season, rather than just getting ready practically.

I had no idea about purple and penitence... something to go and ponder...

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2017 – “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”” Lamentations 3:22-24


#3 EnglishMuffin

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 03:07 PM

Preparation. So necessary in life in general, and faith is no different. For me, life itself is a big season of Advent, preparing myself for the coming of Christ. So the little, yearly season of Advent, with the almost tangible sense of anticipation and longing, is absolutely my favourite time of the year.
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#4 Blossom

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 04:49 PM

For me it is a time of waiting and reflection, last year for the first time i did an advent study 'Advent for everyone Matthew' by Tom Wright, not sure whether to do the same this year or find a new one. In our church (Methodist) we use purple, pink and white candles for the Sundays in advent.


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#5 Barbara

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 05:23 PM

Do they give reasons for purple, pink and white?


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#6 Blossom

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 06:06 PM

Yes pink is the Shepard's candle and lit on the 3rd sunday it represents joy, the 3 purple represent hope, peace and love. The white one is lit on Chritmas eve/day depending if there is a midnight service and is the Christ candle.


Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path


Dh (Vater) 55, Dd (Summer) 17, Ds 14

#7 Blossom

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 06:07 PM

Sorry getting confused posted in error x

Edited by Blossom, 28 November 2017 - 06:08 PM.


Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path


Dh (Vater) 55, Dd (Summer) 17, Ds 14

#8 mummy

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 06:21 PM

It is not really a church thing, although we have sometimes lit advent candles with a special song being sung on the Sundays leading up to Christmas, but I do like to observe advent by myself. I suppose for me it is more about remembering why I am celebrating Christmas so as to not get caught up in all the consumerism etc. that goes with it. I just read a special study guide for my quiet times instead of my usual readings & I find it really helpful. This year I will read "The One True Story", which I discovered last year. 


God is good all the time...all the time God is good!


#9 Dipsy

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 07:12 PM

I do miss the Anglican church seasons! I hadn't even remember advent Sunday being the birth of the church. I must admit that penitence doesn't feature at all in how I view advent. It is a time of preparation, that I'm feeling a bit bah humbug about, if I'm honest.

 

I had a panic the other evening that we might have missed the first Sunday of advent and failed to light our candle (we made a stand so we could have some at home, with readings). But, phew, it isn't until next Sunday! We're all sorted now, with it dug out of the loft with days to spare.

 

I've brought down our advent calendar picture and play mobile too. We bring them out one a day, and have readings based on the character or animal from the nativity. I think I'm going to be brave and not include sweets this year! I had a big push to create this tradition, a few years ago. I would like to do more to re-claim Christmas for what it is, rather than what it has become, so I'm hoping for challenges and inspiration. An Orthodox friend mentioned the joy of a meat feast at Christmas, after a vegan advent, but I'm looking for something a bit more manageable!


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#10 Anne-Marie

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 10:06 PM

I love Advent. A time of waiting for light and hope in the darkness, remembering that hope DID come and we can trust God to honour his promises

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#11 Noo

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 10:45 PM

For me Advent is about the 'now but not yet' - rejoicing in the hope that Jesus has given us that one day He will return and bring an end to evil and suffering, and allowing that hope to help me to live in a more positive way.
Advent is actually the season when the focus is most similar to where I am at spiritually.

I also think that https://m.youtube.co...h?v=S02KOlw7dlA is a very good summary of Advent. I particularly like the analogy of a.cosy tidy up to welcome a guest.

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#12 Geraldine

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 11:21 PM

For me Advent is definitely a time of preparation for an event. I can be terrible at regular Bible Study etc at times but during Advent I seem to make a more concerted effort to read daily. I love the build up and feeling of excitement in the lead up to the "great event". I know that Easter is the main festival for us as Christians BUT without Christmas there wouldn't be Easter.

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#13 earthmama

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 11:52 PM

Our church doesn’t do Advent but since being part of cms I have learnt more about it I love the Anglican tradition and the candles. For me like others have said it’s a time to reflect on the real reason for Christmas.

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#14 hepzibah

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 08:05 AM

I only discovered Advent through being part of an Anglican church many years ago. It reminds me, as for AMO, that Christmas is really only the beginning of the story -  that Christmas is not the main event. I try to use it to refocus our worship on the coming King, on the 'now but not yet' of his kingdom, like Noo.

 

We do have an Advent wreath at church, and for years we had candles at home each Sunday, too - until the girls went to Uni and missed the early Sundays in Advent. At church our candles are red ...  the four Sundays marking The Patriarchs, The Prophets, John the Baptist and Mary and their contribution to the story. We often suggest people follow Love Life Live Advent. This year I'm also going to introduce people to Advent Conspiracy.

 

Also, when the girls were younger, we marked Advent at home with a fabric Advent calendar - I'd put a little treat in for each day, but we also used it as a reverse calendar - adding a few pennies to each pocket until we had something to give away at Christmas. Our decorations don't go up until our church decs go up in time for the carol service, the Sunday before Christmas (this year, the 17th).  I still send the girls an Advent calendar - tho only chocolate - as a gentle reminder.

 

I'm not sure about penitence, personally I have usually concentrated on discipline ... watching and waiting, focus. 


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#15 mummy

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 02:18 PM

I only discovered Advent through being part of an Anglican church many years ago. It reminds me, as for AMO, that Christmas is really only the beginning of the story -  that Christmas is not the main event. I try to use it to refocus our worship on the coming King, on the 'now but not yet' of his kingdom, like Noo.

 

We do have an Advent wreath at church, and for years we had candles at home each Sunday, too - until the girls went to Uni and missed the early Sundays in Advent. At church our candles are red ...  the four Sundays marking The Patriarchs, The Prophets, John the Baptist and Mary and their contribution to the story. We often suggest people follow Love Life Live Advent. This year I'm also going to introduce people to Advent Conspiracy.

 

Also, when the girls were younger, we marked Advent at home with a fabric Advent calendar - I'd put a little treat in for each day, but we also used it as a reverse calendar - adding a few pennies to each pocket until we had something to give away at Christmas. Our decorations don't go up until our church decs go up in time for the carol service, the Sunday before Christmas (this year, the 17th).  I still send the girls an Advent calendar - tho only chocolate - as a gentle reminder.

 

I'm not sure about penitence, personally I have usually concentrated on discipline ... watching and waiting, focus. 

I love Advent Conspiracy, we did it as a church once a few years ago. It has really changed the way I think about this season and I find it a good antidote to the crazy consumerism that seems so prevalent these days. Thank you for the reminder, I will have a think about how I can do this more intentionally this Christmas.


God is good all the time...all the time God is good!


#16 Ju

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 04:08 AM

I love the idea of Advent as taking enough time out to think differently and try to keep Jesus at the centre of this season too.

I love the Advent candles with the purples, pink and white candles on reminding me at God transforming lives throughout history.

I love candles as light in the darkness, warmth in the coldness and a visual reminder that God as Trinity is always with us.

(I’m more concerned that it also reminds me that Christmas itself is hurtling towards and I’ve not yet done anything about it!)

For me, I find it more helpful to put in place my own things - reading a couple of books (even deleted a time sucking game) and doing a very simplified Jesse Tree too.

I don’t think I see it as a time of penitence though.

Edited by Ju, 01 December 2017 - 04:09 AM.

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#17 Cullie

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:09 PM

I don't see it as a time of penitence either. I do see it as a time of preparation to specially remember that Jesus came and will come again.  I try to  be a bit more dedicated in my readings - but found that I like re reading Delia's Smith a feast for advent with it's many Isaiah passages.  Although  this year i'me re-using a little book of Advent. I like a lot of the familiarity like the tradition of an advent candle to light each day.  However it find it hard to get the balance right as often feel overwhelmed by all the presents to sort out and cards to write.


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#18 Anne-Marie

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 05:23 PM

I've signed up for an advent devotion via the prayer mate app - which I already use. Being ill I've not done my planned advent book, and now I work I'm not around most days when DH lights the advent candle, but adding one extra prayer & study point to the app is a level I can manage - or have done for ten days anyway!


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#19 BecD

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 08:52 AM

Been doing some thinking about penitence at Christmas... one thing I love to do is look words up in a dictionary make sure that I have a proper and full understanding of a word. The Oxford Dictionary says:
"Definition of penitence - the action of feeling or showing sorrow and regret for having done wrong; repentance."

For me at first glance this seems to fit better at Easter, but I guess Christmas is the beginning of the rescue plan...

Me and DH, DD (5) and DS (3)

 

2017 – “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”” Lamentations 3:22-24


#20 hepzibah

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 09:45 AM

Perhaps it's about being focussed ... clearing the slate ... in a position of humility so to be able to receive the blessing?


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