An Advent Tradition
By Rev. Roger Sylwester
Advent Calendars are found everywhere today, featuring everything from chocolates to jewelry to - need I say more? Early in our marriage, the only Advent Calendar was a piece of colorfully printed paper with Bible passages for each day of December, leading up to December 24. They were included with a newsletter or handed out on the first Sunday in Advent.
When Jill, our first daughter, was five, Marilyn decided to create an Advent Calendar, similar to a banner, which would hang in our home for Advent. Jill and Sue could participate in it. The first one was a banner made of felt and served for a few years. Five years later, Marilyn, who by now had taken up quilting, decided to create and quilt the cotton one we still use. As you can see, it is a tree from which small ornaments can be hung. She added the manger beneath the tree as the focal point and the numbered side pockets to hold the ornaments and Bible passages. Jill and Sue would take turns hanging the ornament for the day. I was given the honor of hanging the ornament for December 6, my birthday, always the little white church, and December 24, placing the figure of the Christ child in the manger!
The Bible passage in our calendar for Dec. 6 is Colossians 1:15-20. It includes: “He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together…For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things,…by making peace through the blood of his cross.” These lofty words proclaim the great mystery of our faith. This Jesus, who as the Word was present at the beginning and called all things into being (John 1:1-4) has chosen to come among us in humble human form, being born of Mary. Our Advent Calendar reminds us every day of this journey to behold God’s gift of grace to us all.
Have a blessed Advent journey!