Third Week of Advent: Prepare

Previously: Options, Intention

This year I’ve been thinking about Advent since July. It’s the first time in a few years that I’ve done this.

When I was a pastor, I’d say mid- to late summer was usually when I’d begin planning for it, if only in very small amounts. August or September would be when the first resource mailers focusing on Christmas would arrive at the church. September or October would be when I’d begin thinking about worship and sermon ideas, and when ministry teams would begin planning their December activities.

I haven’t had that routine, but I’ve had my Advent book to think about, along with ways to alert people to its existence. After the planning would come the rollout and eventually the release. So while I haven’t had to think about Advent as a pastor in a while, this year I did have to think about it as a writer.

It’s been a welcome callback, to my surprise. Most years such preparation would cause me stress, to the point where I needed to remind myself that this time of year was also mine to enjoy along with others.

But that joy was sometimes hard to identify. I’d always find it by Christmas morning, but some years it wouldn’t arrive before then.

The joy this year has been more steady, easier to discover. I’m thankful for that, and I hope this new trend sticks around for a long time.

If you enjoyed this reflection, check out my new Advent ebook, Four Weeks: Reflections for Advent.

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