Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Advent Words 2022 ~ Coming Soon!


Advent Words 2022 ~ Coming Soon!

Here in Ohio where I live, we have had an incredible Autumn. It has been warm, right up to two weeks ago when we had temperatures in the 70's which quickly turned to temps in the 20's and 30's last week. In addition to mild temps, we have also had incredibly brilliant colors. Every tree seemed to be radiant in color this year, and at times the landscape would glow. Now, as the weather returns closer to what is normal for November we come upon the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., which is quickly followed by the start of the Advent season.

I found this year as I was beginning to think about the Advent Words challenge, that after six years there isn’t really anything new to dig into. The same words, the same Scripture passages, and the same music guide us each year through the Advent season, just as it has been done for centuries. I found that as I approached the Advent season over the past two years that there was great comfort in the familiarity of a story and truths that do not change as we faced so much change with a pandemic, politics, and our current divided culture. The Advent story is a story that brings us hope in the midst of anything we may face, no matter what the current season holds for us.

This year I decided we would investigate the characters that guide us through the story of Advent and Christmas. Every story has characters, some minor, some major. Their individual stories are woven into the greater story, filling it out and giving us a bigger picture. Their stories have popped up in previous Advent Words challenges, but this year we’ll look a little closer at them and the role they play in the Advent story. Of course, every story has a main character, and the Advent story is no different. Our main character is God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and every character in the story ultimately points us to Him.

I hope you will join us on this Advent journey. These Words Challenges are meant to enable us to slow down during this season that is intended for waiting, longing, preparing, and reflecting. Instead, in our modern age, the season has become more associated with hurrying and shopping and consumerism. Advent Words calls us to approach the season more like a pilgrim than a consumer; to embrace the journey as a pilgrimage. Brian Morykon of describes a pilgrimage like this:

“Pilgrimage...It’s a journey undertaken with a humble heart and with an openness to be transformed. The pilgrim isn’t trying to get somewhere as fast as possible. She wants to become something along the way. She’s willing to linger, to reflect, to slow down.”

So, let’s slow down in the weeks ahead and read some Scripture, get creative, and go on a pilgrimage through the Advent story. Hopefully as we slow down their stories will ignite in us a deeper hope and peace and joy and love that is ours in Christ. We are all on a journey of becoming as we grow more and more in Christlikeness. May God meet us in the midst of this Advent pilgrimage wherever we each need to be met by His Holy Presence.

In September I did a challenge through the book of Galatians. I tried an every-other-day format, giving us a day to create in between the words. I polled those who participated at the end of the challenge and found overwhelmingly that they preferred the every-other-day format as they felt they had more time to read and reflect and respond creatively. So, we will try that format for this year’s Advent Words challenge. Below is the calendar with the words and Scripture passages as well as an Instagram badge with the words list.

Click on photo for a printable version of the calendar

Here is how the Words challenge works:

· I will post Bible study devotions, along with how I responded creatively, on this blog every other day beginning on November 27 through December 25. 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 #adventwords2022.


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