AdventToday is the First Sunday in Advent, the first day in the liturgical season of Advent, which is the beginning of the Christian year.

As Father Chip Harper writes in his liturgy lesson for this Sunday:

Our Fathers in the Faith have chosen Scriptures accenting three Advents: the Advent of Christ’s physical birth in Bethlehem, the Advent of Christ coming into our own lives, and the Advent of his Second Coming at the history’s end.

We will begin the service today with blessing and lighting the first candle on the Advent wreath. Each Sunday in Advent, another candle will be lit, and on Christmas Eve, the Christ candle, the large white candle in the center will be lit. Everything about the Advent wreath has meaning, just as the entire season is filled with meaning.

In all the rush of the season, it’s easy for the real meaning of Christmas to be overpowered by shopping, partying, eating, and having fun. Observing Advent with extra daily Bible readings, an Advent wreath, attending additional worship services, and spending more time in prayer can help us draw closer to God and remember the real reason for “the holiday season.”

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen. (Collect for the First Sunday in Advent, 1928 Book of Common Prayer)

I’ve created Scripture/prayer cards that have a Bible verse on one side and a prayer on the other. You can download a PDF file and print the cards on your own computer printer. Reading one of the cards can create a brief moment of devotion in a busy day.

The download of the cards is my gift to you with the prayer that we both focus on the meaning of the season this Advent … and prepare for the coming of the Lord.

Creative Commons License photo credit: KitAy

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