Out of Sync with Advent

If there are Advent rules, we’ve broken one. Right from the start, we’re out of sync.

Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas but when Christmas is on Sunday….hmmm. I went with the thought that of course Christmas counts so Advent begins the first Sunday in December this year. It will end on Christmas day. Perfect. Only, it seems most churches that celebrate Advent (maybe all of them?) began last Sunday. The one after Thanksgiving. That Sunday.

Oops.

Advent candles

 

There are a few drawbacks to a congregation that is totally depending on you for these things because they don’t know when Advent is or what it is. Some will be hearing this new word and we will do our best to immerse all of them in a holiday that will focus more on the reason we celebrate Christmas than the commercialized holiday we’ve come to know.

They won’t hold this faux pax against me but maybe I’m being reminded of something else.

When I thought about how out of sync we’d be with the Christian world I realized that Jesus intentionally lived his life out of sync with the world. He came to turn things upside down a bit. To remind us that he is the way to true life, not money or status.

He is the answer to the peace we seek, not job security or marital harmony. Jesus is the only truth, not political parties or the best self-help books.

The apostle Paul writes to the Christians in Rome to “not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.” Romans 12:2

Jesus was born to a young woman, a virgin birth, impregnated by the Holy Spirit. Out of sync with the worlds customs and cause for skepticism at the least.

His birth was prophesied as a Savior, a King. But he was born in a barn, not a palace. More doubt for those waiting his heralded birth.

His ministry included eating at the home of cheaters and his small band of followers was made up mostly of fishermen; common men. He defied the customs of the day and disdained the so-called religious leaders. The world could not mold him into its image because he was the embodiment of his Father God. And he came to show us a new way. A way that may be out of step with the world but a way that leads to peace that holds through trials. It’s a way of hope.

Maybe we’ll learn something new this Advent. Maybe we’ll learn more about the unconditional love that Jesus came to give.

Advent calendar tree

Here are a couple of book recommendations especially good for the Christmas season.

If you’re looking for a fresh reading of the Christmas story, I’ve found the Jesus Storybook Bible to offer that and more. It’s not just for children.

Ann Voskamp’s book, The Greatest Gift Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas offers daily reading throughout the month with space to write personal reflections. A beautiful book in all ways.

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

10 thoughts on “Out of Sync with Advent

  1. Linda Stoll

    yep, i love Ann’s book and will be using it again this Christmas. she starts on December 1st … and i’ve been anticipating, for sure …

    advent blessings to you as you minister His comfort and joy to your people, Debby …

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      It’s such a beautiful book, isn’t it Linda? I just love it from the look and feel to her precious words. Looking forward to getting started with Advent this week. Last Sunday ended up having its own kind of special. What a blessing these men are in our lives.

      Reply

  2. Annie Rim

    I absolutely love that you started Advent out of sync!! We started reading Henri Nouwen’s Meditations for Advent, and we’ll begin the Family version of the Greatest Gift on December 1st. Kind of cool to spread them out, regardless of how it “should” be done.

    Reply

  3. Michele Morin

    I love Sally Lloyd Jones — and did you know that the Jesus Storybook Bible is also available (under a different name that I can’t recall right now, of course) in a regular book form with the same text, but formatted so that a teen or adult can benefit from the clear teaching.
    I so get you on this out of sync thing . . . this end of November feels like a collision of holidays (and I had a son’s birthday party thrown in as well), but maybe with all the angst over the elections we needed this huge disturbance to our routine with multiple celebrations going on!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      I didn’t know that Michele. Thanks for the info. I’ve benefitted reading from the original but will have to check that one out. I agree, it’s time for a disturbance of joy!

      Reply

  4. Valerie Sisco at Grace with Silk

    Hi Debby,
    I actually loved it that you were out of sync with Advent this year since it brought to your mind all the ways Jesus lived out of sync with society. These details are so familiar that I rush through them when I want to consider how truly unusual it was that angels were appearing in the sky, that a baby was sent instead of the king they were expecting, and that baby was not born in a palace but a barn-like cave. Thank you for sharing these with us today — and I for one am glad you are out of sync with Advent! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      Me too, Valerie. I’m so glad there are lessons to learn from our blunders. I should be brilliant! 😉

      Reply

  5. Cheryl Smith

    I loved reading your thoughts, Debby. It is so true that Jesus was in complete opposition to the world, and He lived His life in sync with eternity, not becoming encumbered or under bondage to the “norm” of the society around Him. I admire and love Him so much and so long to follow His example. I am so happy I clicked over from Holley’s link-up today to read this edifying post. So happy to “meet” you!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      I’m glad you clicked over too Cheryl. Thanks for your affirming words.

      Reply

  6. Finding Hope in the Messiness | Annie Rim

    […] My friend Debby said it best in her post about being Out of Sync with Advent: […]

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