Friday, December 13, 2013

why I'll never come up with the perfect set of advent readings (and what we do instead)

This year, by accident and attrition, I discovered the perfect set of advent reading for our house. It's called - wait for it! -

"Read a passage about Jesus
a few nights a week". 

It was going to be so much better. The number of times I've tried to create a perfect set of advent readings!

I draw up columns. I list passages. I sort them into different kinds of readings: the big-story-of-the-Bible kind. The prophecies-pictures-and-names-of-Jesus kind. The nativity-story kind.

Then, overwhelmed by the number of passages, the necessity of making dozens of choices, and my own perfectionism - I always want to include everything! I'm terrible at making decisions! I'll never get it right! - I give up.

So there will be no perfect set of advent readings coming from me. Instead, use Wendy's or Meredith's. They are very good.

Or you can do what I do. Because the truth is, no 24-day reading plan ever works for us.

My husband is always away for parts of December. Like every other Australian university ministry wife widow, the time leading up to Christmas brims with the usual chaos (right now I'm drowning in it) plus an absent husband. If anyone is going to do advent readings when he's away, it's me. He's back; but last week, they didn't even happen.

Ever tried to catch up on 10 passages at once? We never do make it to Jesus' birth in time for Christmas. We're left hanging, somewhere between prophecy and fulfillment.

So here's what we're doing this year.

After dinner, we grab the Bible. We find a prophecy about the coming of Jesus. We read it. We briefly discuss it. We pray.

On another night, it might be the opening chapters of Matthew or Luke. We read it. We talk about seeing God's promises in action. We pray.

And that wonderful wooden advent calendar I bought years ago? Once, I looked for all kinds of candy-ish goodness to stuff into those tiny cupboards, but I've discovered that mini packs of Mentos fit (almost) perfectly. Boring, but easy. And that's all. No print-outs of advent readings curled inside this year.

Defeated by advent calendar readings, and all the trimmings of a Homemaker 101 Christmas, we do it our way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm totally with you dear Jean! Jesus is Lord all year, the Bible is true and rich and wondrous all year, our hearts need to come to him with penitence and joy all year. Every day, our kids need us to point to Jesus, to live for him, to discuss the scriptures, to repent and forgive and to delight in Jesus. Adding special Advent activities here was going to make me less godly and more stressed; so bad for my kids. So we too are doing normal Bible reading and some prophecies and some Jesus being born. My daily prayer is to be patient & calm; to carve out special moments of engaging with the kids; and to talk and pray with them of God's awesome goodness in Jesus, as suffering around us abounds. I'm grateful for the laughter and fun He's given us in this crazy month.
I will pray for your family now.
Thanks for posting.
Sally in Perth