Some Ideas for the Observance of Advent
     Time flies! As I write this article, we are almost at the end of the traditional Western church year. This means we are almost at the beginning of a new church year: or, in other words, from the first day of the season of Advent. (This year, 2023, the first day of Advent is Sunday, December 3rd.)
     If you are interested in observing Advent, I suggest that before it begins you prayerfully consider and decide how you will observe it.
     There are multitudes of resources we can use to observe this season, such as a collection of Advent devotions. Many are accessible online. Some are available for free. Some were prepared from the perspective of a particular church tradition, e.g. Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed, Methodist, and Baptist, and others were not.
     The movement Advent Conspiracy is a source of such resources. I recommend it. Its website says:
Advent Conspiracy was founded on the radical idea that we can celebrate Christmas humbly, beautifully, and generously. Advent is the story of a wondrous moment when God entered our world to make things right. It is the greatest story ever told and it changes everything—including the way we celebrate Christmas.
     If you would like to learn more about Advent Conspiracy and the resources it offers, I suggest you use this link:
     Of course, one can also observe Advent in worthwhile ways without any of the Advent resources I have mentioned, such as by reading passages of the Scriptures—in both the Old Testament and the New Testament—which are related to Advent, and meditating on them.
      Remember that traditionally Advent is not only about the the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ: that of His Incarnation and Nativity. It is also about His second coming: when "the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works" (Matthew 16:27 (AV/KJV)).
     I heartily recommend the daily observance of Advent with one or more suitable spiritual disciplines.
     Following is a list of seven such disciplines:
1. Reading passages of the Scriptures which pertain to the advents of the Lord
2. Praying psalms which pertain to the advents of the Lord (such as Psalms 24, 40, 96, and 98)
3. Memorizing one or more verses of the Scriptures which pertain to the advents of the Lord
4. Studying the advents of the Lord
5. Meditating on the advents of the Lord
6. Singing one or more songs (such as hymns) which pertain to the advents of the Lord
7. Thanking and praising the Lord for His advents, including what He did in His first advent and what He will do in His second
     I have written about other ideas for the observance of Advent in my article "The Penitential Psalms, Advent, and Lent", which can be on this website here:
     And, of course, there is also the aforementioned discipline of using a collection of Advent devotions.
     May God the Father bless the observance of Advent to the sanctification, edification, and preparation of His church for His only begotten and beloved Son, through the gracious ministrations of the Holy Spirit, to His glory. Amen.
Questions for consideration
1. Do you think you give enough attention to the advent of the Incarnation and Nativity of Christ? If so, why? If not, why not?
2. Do you think you give enough attention to the advent of the return of Christ? If so, why? If not, why not?
3. Would you like to observe Advent by practicing spiritual disciplines—especially ones which involve the advents of Christ? If so, why? If not, why not?
4. Would you like to learn more about the advents of Christ? If so, why? If not, why not?
5. What are some other spiritual disciples one could perform which involve the advents of Christ?
6. Would you like to thank and praise the Lord Jesus for the advent of His Incarnation and Nativity? If so, why? If not, why not?
7. Would you like to thank and praise the Lord Jesus for the advent of His return? If so, why? If not, why not?

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  • My wife is taking us through Dr. Jeremiah's Advent book each night - Season of Joy, a Celebration of Christmas

    • That sounds good. Thank you for sharing that information. I've seen that book advertised on Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah, but I haven't read it.

  • Guest-Lost:


    What are you waiting for?

    New blog post from Bob Logan

    You long to see the Lord transform hearts, minds, and lives. It’s why you’ve dedicated your life to ministry. But instead of joyful participants, it’s getting harder to inspire action, recruit leaders, or even volunteers. At times, ministry feels more like marketing and congregations more like consumers. Instead of empowering people to be the hands and feet of Jesus, people are looking to you and your staff to do all of the work that is for the Body of Christ. You are weary. 

    It doesn’t feel good or right—because it isn’t.

    Advent is a season of waiting, hoping, and wondering. The Church awaits a fresh anointing—a powerful touch that awakens souls and transforms the Body of Christ into a growing, giving, generous people wherein the numbers are added to daily.  

    The Christmas story contains a pattern that shows the journey of transformative faith. This pattern applies to Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah, the shepherds… to every person who encounters the living God. 

    Waiting to the point of weariness

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    When Jesus was born, Herod, a power-hungry, narcissistic leader, was oppressing the people. There was a huge wage gap with a major majority of people living in poverty. Slavery and human trafficking was a cultural norm. The Jews clung to scripture as a life line as mythology and philosophy denied the God that they knew was real and true.  

    There is so much to relate to today. Politics. War. Oppression. Wage gaps. Racism. Human trafficking. And in the midst of it all, people of faith are clinging to scripture for comfort. As they should… until comfort is all that’s wanted. 

    Until the people of God are so comforted that movements of God aren’t wanted, sought after, or recognized. 

    If you are feeling weary, you are not alone. The big things going on in the world are heavy burdens that add onto very real, just-as-big burdens that people are carrying in their personal lives. The world is weary and waiting. 

    3 Ways to Connect with a Weary World

    Waiting is hard. It’s real work to maintain faith and trust—to remain steadfast in the chaos of the world. As a pastor there are some things you can do—for yourself and for others.

    1. Cultivate Empathy

    Pastor, I know how you carry burdens of your own and the burdens of others. Boundaries are an important and hot topic for a reason. But not at the expense of empathy. Empathy binds us to our own humanity and to the humanity in others. Listen well to the people around you. Meet them where they are at. Join them in carrying their burdens to the Lord in prayer. 

    2. Embrace Grace

    With all the trouble in the world the added expectation surrounding the holidays means an increase in stress across the board. People are more easily offended—and defensive—when they are stressed. Keeping an attitude of grace towards yourself and others is a road to peace and connection. 

    3. Build Hope

    Visioncasting is so powerful. In the Christmas story, God beautifully casts vision that builds hope in a weary world. The arrival of Christ is a promise of better days ahead. A promise that breaks through the weariness of stress and depression with a thrill of hope. 

    “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!”

    Armed with empathy and grace, what do you and the people in your community need to build hope? In what ways does the Christmas story speak to that need? How can you cast vision that offers a glimpse of better days ahead? What can you and your community do to help build that vision during this season?


    The Discipleship Difference- You have a dialed in ministry flow—but you still aren’t seeing transformation. The Discipleship Difference lays out an intentional, holistic, and relational approach to discipleship that is individualized to meet each person wherever they are.

    Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

    The post What are you waiting for?appeared first on Logan Leadership.

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