“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because God has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, proclaim deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18) Advent is when we wait, most poignantly, for Jesus to break into our world, God-in-flesh, liberator, teacher, healer.
Too easily, December is full of shopping lists, baking cookies, going to pageants, hosting parties, and feeling that sense of MORE – get more stuff, do more things, eat more sweets…all the opposite of what Jesus is about. Like a season of greed for MORE gifts, rather than gratitude for the greatest gift already given.
Consider the visit of the Magi, depicted on the Advent Calendar as wise women from around the world. “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and the bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:10-11)
Global Women’s Project offers the Advent Calendar, written by Sarah Neher with artwork by Debbie Noffsinger, to nurture gratitude (rather than greed) within the midst of Advent. This calendar is filled with scripture, prayer prompts, activities and taxes, along with a color-by-day Christmas image. Download and print the calendar; it’s free to use and share (we hope you will donate your taxes to GWP).
Advent comes on slightly different dates each year; this calendar is for December 1-25 so you can use it in any year. You can use the calendar in personal prayer time, with your family around the dinner table, in a Sunday school class or small group with weekly check-ins, or as a congregation.
How to share the calendar
Lead Sunday school or other activity time that could be inter-generational or happen simultaneously in multiple classes. Download a game and Group session handout!
Themed potluck: recipes from Extending the Table, More with Less, Simply in Season, etc OR “simple” foods OR “global” foods OR “Christmas” foods
Post on bulletin board in church with donation box
Send out daily prompt by email/facebook
Discuss weekly in Sunday school and/or worship to share insights from previous week
Share in Advent morning devotionals or Bible studies
Invite your family to give the Advent calendar as a gift to one another, rather than buying presents.
What ideas do you have? Let us know!
Previous Advent Calendars
Mary and Baby Jesus – Advent 2019
Written by Anna Lisa Gross and Designed by Jessie Long