The chocolate calendars are my favorite.
Every year growing up for as long as I can remember I had an Advent calendar to countdown the season. It was always chocolate. I’d wake up first thing in the morning and excitedly open the door to reveal my chocolate for the day. When I went off to college and even serving overseas in the Peace Corps, I still had my chocolate Advent calendar. It was one constant in my honoring of Advent.
As a kid, though, it was all about the chocolate.
Now, as a pastor and a mother, I’m looking for ways to experience and savor the season with my family. I have a toddler and a baby, so we have time to figure out what works for us. Remembering that it will look different year after year. With my husband we’re figuring out what we want our kids to know and learn about the church year. We want to model practices and conversations that help us learn about God and deepen our relationships with God.
For us now, it’s not all about the chocolate.
Or maybe it is a little about the chocolate!
In our church we’ve created three different Advent calendars and a devotional booklet to accompany the calendars. That means that 72 people are opening a treat each day and reading a devotion. That means that sometime throughout the day a number of families are taking time to pause, listen, and reflect. That means that the church is deepening their relationship with God.
That means that we’re all waiting together.
And that’s what it’s all about for me this year – that I’m not alone in my waiting. That the season of Advent is best done in community. Where we can listen and pray and hold one another up to the light. Every day this Advent I’m enjoying my Advent Calendar that was created by people with whom I live and serve and worship with week after week. I’m reading their responses to questions, I’m reading scripture, and I’m doing it with others in the community.
In this time that seems so dark and hopeless, when the news cycle bombards us, and when personal trials seem overwhelming, I’m cherishing this Advent reading, praying, and waiting. Together.
We are in this together.
Trusting the light.
Knowing that the Christ Child will be born for us.