The gift buying, tree decorating, party planning and other pre-Christmas tasks can easily overshadow Advent and spiritual preparation for remembering Christ’s birth. While Advent 2011began on Nov. 27, many days remain before Christmas, plenty of time to use Advent devotions and activities delivered via e-mail, downloaded to your computer or mobile device or accessed on the Web.
“The Journey” Smartphone appis based on the new book by the Rev. Adam Hamilton, but it also functions as a stand-alone Advent calendar. The app, available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, opens with seven unlocked activities for children. Starting Dec. 1, a new one (videos, coloring sheets, puzzles, cards, Bible quizzes) started opening daily.
A daily online retreatoffers group discussion in addition to Scripture reading, reflection and guided prayer practices. Upper Room Ministries, a part of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD), and
http://www.BeADisciple.com are sponsoring the Nov. 27–Dec. 25 retreat based on Behold! Cultivating Attentiveness in the Season of Advent, a new book by Pamela Hawkins.
Lighting the candles of an Advent wreath weekly or daily allows individuals and families to focus on the
coming of Christ into the world. If you missed lighting a candle on the first or second Sundays of Advent,
choose another time this week to do so and then continue the tradition through Christmas Eve.
GBOD worship resources staff offers weekly candle lighting meditationsto use throughout Advent. Each includes a Scripture reading, short prayers and one stanza of a hymn or song. For those without an Advent wreath, Dean McIntyre, GBOD director of music resources, suggests, “Use candles alone—four of similar size and color for the four Sundays (purple or blue is traditional), and a white candle in the center for Christmas Eve.”
Advent wreath lighting liturgiescan also be downloaded from the GBGM website and adapted for home use. Each uses a verse of the song “Yalla magg na” (Senegalese for “The Child of Hope Is Coming”), Scriptureand prayers
Or visit our Kentucky Annual Conference website to read our daily Advent devotions contributed by members from throughout the Kentucky Conference.