I have been trying to really practice the season of Advent this year. I have a nightly devotion by Adam Hamilton that I am reading (The Journey) and I have been following that advent calendar at bustedhalo.com each morning. They call it their "Advent Suprise Calendar" and it has truly brought me joy and really kindled some provoking thoughts, just in the three days I have participated already.
Every day there is a quote or a clip from some famous personality or character. And I think what is truly surprising is that you see a side of people you never typically see. You find them talking about their lives, their experiences of Christmas, and you realize that they are normal people. Normal people who might actually have a faith journey just like I do. In my "God on the Small Screen" blog, I have tried to do a similar thing with the television shows I watch... finding the redeeming, inspiring, and unexpected nuggets of faith, hope, and love in the secular world. So this whole Advent Surprise Calendar is right up my alley.
And then there is the microchallenge. A little poke in the right direction this time of year. A reminder of what this season of Advent is all about... preparing for Jesus to enter our lives once again. These little nudges invite us into relationship with friends and family and strangers, unlike many trite little reflections which offer a prayer and then you are done thinking about it for a while. Yesterday we were encouraged to play a game with a friend (which I didn't get the chance to do), on the first day it was to share a hopeful story from the newspaper with someone we know. No chocolates here... no magic doors to open... but life and sharing and relationships are the little gifts we recieve as we journey towards the birth of Christ.
Take a peek... and join the journey!