This year we are sending each household a printed copy of the SALT Project’s Advent devotional, Advent Unbound. It is a unique and joyful way to enter this season of preparation for welcoming the Christ as a child once again into our hearts. Look for your copy in the mail! (A digital copy was emailed to members mid-month.)
The Adult Forum Team will be using this material each Sunday morning of Advent. Join them in the Forum Room at 10:00 am or Zoom in to their presentation. (The Zoom link will be in the Saturday email.) Sara and Peter Mullarkey are facilitating a Zoom discussion of the devotional each Thursday evening in Advent (2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd) 6:30-8 p.m. Sign up on the Advent page.
Just to entice you…here is an excerpt from the intro to Advent Unbound:
God becoming incarnate in a human being is too astounding, too dazzling, too impossible an event to merely celebrate on a single day. We need to prepare beforehand, and extend the jubilation when it arrives (“On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love said to me...”). And so we add Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, a preparatory candlelight vigil. But even that isn’t enough – and so we design a whole season of anticipation, four weeks of waiting and preparing, all so we’ll be ready to welcome and receive Jesus when he comes.
The word “Advent” means coming or arrival. The Christian year begins not with the trumpets of Easter, or the wonder of Christmas Eve, or the winds of Pentecost – but on the contrary, in Advent, we begin in the shadows of despair, conflict, sorrow, and hate. For it’s here that the God of grace will arrive. And so it’s here that God’s church is called to light candles of heartfelt hope, peace, joy, and love.
Poetry can help, as can “unbinding” poetry from dusty bookshelves or intimidating expertise. The Irish poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama’s beloved podcast, “Poetry Unbound,” is an inspiring case in point: evocative, accessible poems illuminated with sensitivity and insight by Ó Tuama’s commentary. In this Advent devotional, we let scripture and “Poetry Unbound” be our guides, together pointing us toward weekly practices that can help deepen and enrich our experience of the season – a perfect way to prepare for the hope, peace, joy, and love of Christmas day.
So grab a Bible and your favorite way of listening to the “Poetry Unbound” podcast (the poems and episode transcripts can also be read online at onbeing.org/series/poetry-unbound/). Week by week, poem by poem, we’ll wait and prepare and listen and sing, unbinding the season – and with God’s help, unbinding our hearts – along the way.
Hope you will make the journey through Advent with our Plymouth community and this devotional offering. Remember the two discussion opportunities above! And you can discuss what shimmers for you, challenges you, comforts you with friends and family at dinner. Play a poem for your kids!
Happy Thanksgiving and join us Sunday for Advent!