Yesterday marked the beginning of a new church calendar year, with the first Sunday in Advent. We lit the first candle of prophecy and hope on the Advent wreath.
Another tradition that has become popular is the Advent calendar. These calendars can be quite exciting for the young children, and for the young-at-heart adults, as the little doors are opened each day and usually there is a message and perhaps a picture with some reference to preparing for the coming/the way of Jesus the Messiah.
For those folks who like to support the work of development, education, justice and peace for the world's poor, our Canadian Lutheran World Relief website has a lovely online Advent calendar, which I highly recommend. I think those of us who support CLWR and similar NGOs in other denominations, can be encouraged by being in solidarity with the world's poor and having the sense that we are making a difference.
Please click on this link to visit the CLWR Advent Calendar.