Monday, November 8, 2021

Advent Word 2021: Coming Soon!

 Advent Words 2021: Coming Soon!

We are just a few weeks away from the Advent season. This is my sixth year hosting the Advent Words Challenge and I have been thinking a lot about how to proceed this year. I had a number of new ideas, but then a few weeks ago I was studying for my weekly Bible study, and a passage was cross-referenced that I am very familiar with. Only this time when I read it I noticed that both of the Advents of Christ were referenced. Somehow I had never noticed this before even though I have studied the passage many times. That passage was Titus 2:11-14.
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."
It's not a traditional Advent or Christmas passage, but I really like that we see Christ's first Advent, "the grace of God has appeared" and His second Advent, "the glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ". This is what the Advent Season is all about! Too often in our present day, we tend to focus mainly on the first Advent, the birth of Christ. But the Advent season is a call for us to both look back and look forward. We look back and connect with the longing for the Messiah the Israelites had, rejoicing in the Incarnation, and looking forward we connect with our own longing for the Messiah's return - the second Advent. And in between the two Advents - grace to glory - we must connect with God's call on how His people are to live out the life of Christ in this present age.

For the Advent Words Challenge we will spend the first half of the Advent season digging into Titus 2:11-14 and explore the Advent words we find within it. Words such as appear, grace, salvation, hope, wait, glory, Savior. etc. Then for the last half of the challenge we will look at some of the more traditional Advent and Christmas words and passages.

I enjoy having a separate journal for each year's challenge, so I made a new journal to create in for this year. I ended up miscalculating the number of pages I needed and now have double the amount! So, I may end up putting study notes in the back.

I decided to play some more with the painted paper torn collage style I have been doing recently, and have begun making background pages.

I hope you will join me this year. The Advent Words Challenges are meant to be done in community. I so enjoy seeing how people interpret the words and Scripture passages into various creative expresssions - art journaling, collage, photography, poetry, digital art, etc. And I enjoy the conversation and study insights in the Words Challenge Facebook group.

In the next few weeks I will post a calendar with the words and Scripture passages. Here's how it will work and how you can join along:

  • I will post daily Bible study devotions, along with how I responded creatively, on this blog each day beginning on November 28 through December 24. You can follow this blog by email or there will be daily links to the posts in the Words Challenge Facebook group
  • Respond with whatever creative practice you choose: art journaling, mixed media art, scrapbook, photography, digital art, poetry, creative writing, calligraphy - any way you choose! As you take in the Scripture and devotions into your heart and mind, let it sink even deeper as you practice creatively with your hands.
  • Join the Words Challenge Facebook group where you can share your art and ideas and join the conversation through the Advent season and beyond.  I host a number of Words Challenges throughout the year. 
  • Share on Instagram and other social media with the hashtag #adventwords2021.
  • In the weeks before the Advent season begins reflect and prepare: choose the creative form you will use for your daily practice. Make or buy a journal that fits your creative form.


  1. Thanks Mary. I enjoyed this last year. I'm not on Facebook, but will keep up with your daily posts.
    I'm doing the Advent Words on 4x6 index cards (an idea I got from reading your post about a Common Place index card box).
    Blessings to you as you share during Advent. He is coming!

    1. Christine,
      I'm so glad you are joining us again this year! I love your idea about doing the challenge on index cards. If you are not on social media, feel free to share your poject with me via email. I would love to see it!