Looking ahead to Advent

The first Sunday of Advent is November 29. Christmas is a few weeks later. But the truth is, we’re not sure we’re ready to figure out how to celebrate this year.

I’ve written about Advent before. In Anticipation: An Advent Reader and Saint John of the Mall: Reflections for the Advent Season, I provided reflections from Scripture to prepare us through Advent.

This year calls for something different.

Giving a Year Meaning: A Healing Journal for Advent 2020 will help people bruised and disrupted by a difficult year.

With entries for every day from November 29 through December 31, I want to turn readers into participants. Within the traditional Advent framework of Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy, each day has prompts to think about forgiveness, loss, rest, consoling, and celebration. There are opportunities to identify people to encourage, gifts to give, names to remember and celebrate.

As I wrote the prompts, I found that experience as a mentor, friend, writer, and hospital chaplain during a year of COVID-19 kept showing up. These are the kind of questions that I ask my friends over coffee. These are the kinds of questions I suggest when offering care at the hospital.

By guiding us through high and low moments of this particular year, we can begin to find meaning and healing.

The journal isn’t available for purchase yet. I’ll have it on Amazon by the end of the month. But I’ve got a sample including the introduction and the first two weeks at 2020advent.com. I’d love you to look at it. If it looks helpful, order it when it comes out. If it looks like something for a family or a small group or a congregation, pass this post on.

Thanks for your help. (And thanks for the patrons of Social Media Chaplain who make these projects possible.)