Sunday, November 29, 2009

ADVENT COUNTDOWN 27

People look East. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People look East, and sing today;
Love the Guest is on the way.
—Eleanor Farjeon
"Shepherds, Shake Off Your Drowsy Sleep"
———————
[Today marks the beginning of Advent. The word "Advent" comes from the Latin adventus, which means "coming." In the Christian church, Advent is that period of expectant waiting leading up to the Nativity of Jesus. Some prefer to think of it as a "Countdown to Christmas." If you've ever had an Advent calendar, you know that each day prior to Christmas has it own window, usually hidden behind a little flap or door, behind which is a scene or verse from the Scriptures. I thought it would be fun to take that idea and post a daily photo with a bit of text below—a stanza or two from a Christmas poem or a few lines of prose from a favorite Christmas story. The photos aren't intended to be tied with the text. Some are just ones I meant to run with a post this past year, but for whatever reason, didn't. To set these posts apart from my regular—or irregular!—ones, I've given them a different typeface and look.]

22 comments:

bobbie said...

This is a lovely idea. I will be reading these posts even though I don't often leave comments.

When my children were growing up, we always observed Advent and had an Advent Wreath. And on Christmas, we always had a birthday cake for the baby.

Robin said...

Thanks, Griz. I love this idea.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Great idea! I'll be following.
Have you beat back that nasty flu?

The Weaver of Grass said...

What a lovely idea, Scribe - wish I had thought of it! I love Farjeon's poetry - simple, yet beautiful. Please don't neglect that river bank's adventures will you - I don't think i can manage without my top up for all that time. Anything could happen to those ducks in a month, so please keep us informed. Have a good day.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bobbie…

I'd heard Advent mentioned in the church where I grew up—though as best I can remember, there were no no real services in which Advent Sundays were incorporated. I never saw an Advent calendar until I was in my early twenties…but I loved the idea immediately, and have often bought one since, though around here, except for ones meant for kids, they're difficult to find.

Don't worry about not commenting each time; I don't expect that. I just wanted to observe Advent in this small way using photos and text, and hoped everyone would enjoy the anticipation of each day's offering.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Robin…

I'm glad you like the idea; hope I can make it work. As bad as I've been feeling these last few days, I couldn't get things up and going the way I planned—but maybe I'll improve along the way.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

Well, this morning I appear to be in the hacking and coughing stage, and I feel awful but it's a different sort of awful than yesterday. So…I think I'm getting better. Maybe. I hope.

Glad you like the Advent plan.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

Don't worry about your riverbank reports. This is simply intended as an adjunct to my usual posts—although for the next day or so, they may be it, until I can manage something more.

I'm glad you like the idea, BTW.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Beautiful sentiments. I remember Advent well - we always had an Advent Calendar on the frige and an Advent wreath on the table. I don't follow it any more but I will through you - and your reflections. Thank you for this gift of the season. Please keep getting better.

Love you
Gail
peace.....

giggles said...

A grown-up Advent calendar! Goodie!! What fun!!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

I hope you enjoy each installment.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I like the notion and the act of following and looking ahead—the anticipation of the coming event. I hope this brings back fond memories for you.

I will do my best on the getting well…

Kelly said...

...I do love advent. I'm looking forward to your posts. We have an advent calendar (Matty, now 14, still loves filling in the pockets each day of the month). I think I will create an advent wreath this year. I've not had one for a couple of years. Thanks for the inspiration!

Hildred and Charles said...

A wonderful idea. I just came from the piano, after playing through all the Advent hymns I know and ended with 'People Look East' - a nice coincidence.

Advent is a special season, - as usual, starting today, I am reading Jane Mossendew's 'Light in Darkness',which covers the season from Advent to Lent and is part of her series on 'Gardening with God'. A beautiful book, especially to a lover of nature.

And this afternoon I will listen to an Advent Carol Service from St. John's College, Cambridge, - part of the BBC Radio3 Choral Evensong service series.

Your posting, Griz, is the third soul satisfying part of the day, and thank you for it. Looking forward to each entry, and do hope that your bug is making its way towards the end of its visit and you will soon be feeling well.

Bernie said...

I love the advent season, it brings me fond memories and I still keep my advent wreath and light my candle each Sunday...this year I will enjoy Advent with you Grizz, glad you are feeling a bit better......:-) Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly…

While I'm a latecomer to the various Advent traditions, I enjoy them and have been trying to make them a part of my Christmas celebration. I'm so tired of the commercialism; I want my life and practices to have a foundation in my beliefs, to be grounded in the reasons and history of the season.

I hope you do make a wreath—and enjoy it for what it is.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Hildred and Charles…

I'm pleased you'll be visiting here on this Advent countdown.

I play the piano, and think some of the old hymns are as beautiful as any music ever written…but I don't know a single Advent hymn. I'll have to do some research.

I'll also have to look up that book you mentioned, Jane Mossendew's "Light in Darkness." It sounds like something I'd enjoy.

I seem to be making slow progress toward getting better, too. I actually feel better this evening than I did this morning. Hope I can stay on track.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Such things as the Advent tradition provides us a real underpinning for our lives, a worthwhile meaning for holiday celebrations.

I'll be glad to have you visit here daily.

Wanda said...

I will be following right along with everyone else...I love meaningful traditions.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

Somehow, I knew that already. :-)

Thank you…

TheChicGeek said...

Oh, how I love Eleanor Farjeon's words here. "People look East, and sing today; Love the Guest is on the way."

Such a beautiful description of our Lord :)

Have a Happy Day, Scribe :) Thanks for sharing this quote. I am going to look for this book :)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly (CG)…

I thought it was a great stanza for starting this series. And Weaver (see above) called it right when she described Farjeon's poetry as " simple, yet beautiful." That it certainly is—of which this is a prime example.