Anticipating Advent

Magnificat © Jan L. Richardson

Today has found me in the studio, working on some artwork for the cover of my new book. Amid the intensity of writing, I haven’t spent a lot of time in the studio in recent months, so it was lovely to clear off my drafting table today and play amongst the paints. As I wrap up the book and begin to contemplate the coming season of Advent, I’m looking forward to creating new art and reflections for my blog The Advent Door. I just published my first post of the year over there, with a few pre-Advent thoughts; I invite you to stop by. (And don’t miss the announcement there about the festive Advent discount on annual subscriptions at!)

Even though I’m someone who gives a lot of thought to Advent, I still often find that it catches me unprepared and that it seems altogether too short. Especially given what an intense year this has been with working on the book, I’m trying to get a jump on things and give some thought now to how I want to enter into the coming season. I don’t have a clear plan as of yet—and Advent tends to resist too much planning anyway—but I’m starting to envision some things that invite me to linger and savor and be: a good walk, a visit with a friend over a cup of tea, a stolen afternoon with a tasty book…

How do you hope to enter Advent this year? When we arrive at Christmas, what do you want to be able to look back on? What will help you stop and savor the coming season and open your eyes to the Christ who comes to us amongst these days?

As we anticipate Advent, may we also linger well with these present hours. Blessings to you.

8 Responses to “Anticipating Advent”

  1. Hannah Says:

    We finished planning all of the Advent music last week. In a way, I feel like I have already entered Advent…I think most worship planners will identify with the feeling of going through seasons before they are “happening.”

    Arriving at Christmas, I want to feel joy and wonder. Again, as a worship planner, it is easy to feel simply relieved that it is all over.

    Ironically, planning ahead (I’m more prepared that I have been any other year!) has both hastened Advent/Christmas, and given me the space to experience them on a spiritual rather than a material level. Without having to worry about worship plans for the next two months, I can stop being an employee and start being a pilgrim. Interesting how those two are often contradictory.

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Many thanks, Hannah! Yes—I understand what you mean about being a worship planner and how that shifts your relationship with seasons. I especially enjoyed your words about how you can stop being an employee and start being a pilgrim—an ongoing tension among folks in “professional” ministry. I pray that Advent is unfolding in a wondrous way for you and that you’re experiencing these days as a pilgrimage. Thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful words. Blessings and traveling mercies to you!

  2. The Pollinatrix Says:

    I love that someone else is already anticipating Advent. It’s my favorite time of year.

    I like your thought-provoking questions. I hope to enter Advent with a simple heart and a sense of wonder. What helps me stop and savor is dropping projections and expectations and paying attention in the moment. My hope is that I can look back on this season as a time of peace for my family and me.

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Many thanks, Pollinatrix! I hope you are finding much to savor in this season and that peace will be a persistent companion for you and your family. I wish you many blessings in these days.

  3. Jackie Says:

    I am looking back on a very blessed year and I’m looking forward to the new friendships I will be making during the coming season.

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Thanks for your words, Jackie! I’m so pleased for the blessings that have come your way this year. May the coming season and the year ahead be wondrous for you. Peace to you!

  4. Rev Christina Says:

    Advent challenges me. I’m not good at delayed gratification and find that waiting for Christmas takes focused intention. Otherwise I’m swept into the swirl of church and social activities, running rather than savoring the journey. So today I’m beginning with quiet time to set a slower pace which will hopefully quiet my spirit and deepen the journey to the manger.

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Many kind thanks, Rev. Christina! That delayed gratification/focused intention stuff can be such a challenge! I pray that you are finding moments of quiet and much to savor on your Advent journey. I wish you many blessings.

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