S[c]ENT//Advent 2011.

by Chris Kamalski

What if the Church throughout the world pressed ‘restart’ each year in an effort to awake once again to the fragrance of Christ within us, and throughout every corner of the world?

DOWNLOAD THE ADVENT 2011 READING GUIDE I WROTE FOR 3rd PLACE HERE.

S[c]ENT//ADVENT 2011

  • Scent |sent| noun: a distinctive smell, esp. one that is pleasant. From Old French sentir, meaning to ‘perceive or smell.’
  • Sent |sent| verb: cause to go or be taken to a particular destination; affect with powerful emotion; put into ecstasy.

What if the Church throughout the world pressed ‘restart’ each year in an effort to awake once again to the fragrance of Christ within us, and throughout every corner of the world? What if a season in the life of the Church preceded the arrival of a fresh calendar year as a means by which to prepare for the arrival of Christ into our world at the end of days? What if we grew in everyday awareness of God’s fragrance in the world, and began to see anew our calling as sent ones carrying the sweet aroma of Christ to all whom we meet?

This is the season of Advent, a season which anticipates Christ’s final arrival through the lens of celebrating the birth of Jesus as God’s entrance into our world. Welcoming the scent of Christ through the sending of Christ. A pleasing fragrance wafting through our world. Welcome, 3rd Place, to S[c]ENT, the season of Advent.

“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, He brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation–an aroma redolent with life.” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16, The Message)

Advent is a season of expectant anticipation, of anticipatory joy. It is also a season of repentant preparation for a future that is yet to come.

WHAT IS THE SEASON OF ADVENT?

“Christmas is about the coming in the present of the Lord who came long ago in the past. Jesus comes again each Christmas. This is the central purpose of the season of the church year known as Advent, the four Sundays + four weeks before Christmas. Each Advent, Christians relive ancient Israel’s yearning + hope, and each Christmas Christians celebrate the fulfillment of the yearning: ‘Joy to the world, the Lord is come.’ The purpose of Advent + Christmas is to bring the past into the present.”

“The Latin root of Advent is a word that means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival.’ Advent thus means, ‘toward the coming.’ Advent is preparation for the coming of Jesus to the world-then, in the past; now, in the present, and as we will see later, in the future. Advent + Christmas bring the coming of Jesus, the birth of Jesus with all of its associations, into the present. Past, present, and future are brought together in Advent. It is a season of expectant anticipation, of anticipatory joy. It is also a season of repentant preparation for a future that is yet to come.

On the personal level, Christmas is about light coming into the darkness of our individual lives, about our return from exile, about inner peace. Indeed, it is about the birth of Christ within us” (Excerpted from Marcus Borg + John Dominic Crossan, The First Christmas).

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SEASON OF ADVENT

At the beginning of each week in Advent, light an incense stick as a welcome re- minder that the exquisite fragrance of God’s Spirit dwells as a sweet aroma within us and throughout every corner of our world. Ask the Spirit to open your spirit to the presence of God in your life & during these moments of meditation. Select one of the weekly Advent texts & practice the discipline of Lectio Divina as a means of opening up to God’s active word. Once finished, return to the Advent themed meditation for the week. Again, let the words read you. What is God saying? Engage in action that responds to God’s living word in you.

Gerhard Van Wyk is a genius. View his work here--> http://thispencil.co.za/

As sent ones, carrying the fragrance of Christ into our world begs the question, how are you inviting others to imagine a fresh start filled with newfound expectation?

ADVENT WEEK 1 {27.11-03.12}: THE S[c]ENT OF HOPE

  • Hope |hōp| noun: expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

Texts: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37

Meditation: The scent of hope: a cool shower, a fresh bar of soap, the cleansing rinse of shampoo running down the drain. Toweling off, naked with the possibility of a brand new start. The metaphor writes itself, does it not? It recalls to mind the fact that God’s heart beats perpetually in desire for His creation to return to Himself, finding life where life was first imagined. As sent ones, carrying the fragrance of Christ into our world begs the question, how are you inviting others to imagine a fresh start filled with newfound expectation?

Response: Invite a friend to recover something they have lost hope in: A sense of future possibilities, a fresh start, a different path than they are currently walking. How can your presence inspire new life?

DOWNLOAD THE ADVENT 2011 READING GUIDE I WROTE FOR 3rd PLACE HERE.

Advertisements