When does Advent begin, exactly?

We’ve had the first Sunday in Advent, but all the pieces of chocolate are still safely stowed behind little cardboard doors…we assume.

After a short discussion on this subject, we’ve decided that the Practising for Christmas reflections will begin on Thursday  1st December when the advent calendars come out. This will mean there will be one for every day in the week, and they will take you right up to Christmas Day. It will also give others a few more days to sign up.

Thank you for your patience.

While you’re waiting, here are some tips from Nigel Coles for engaging with the (perhaps over familiar) stories you’re going to be reading each day:

  • The main concern is to encourage everyone to engage personally with the word of God. The reflections will be useful prompts and another’s angle, but that’s all.
  • The discipleship cycle (listening to what God is saying, looking for where God is working, living out where God is calling, learning what God is embedding) provides a helpful framework, which helps us identify something of how we are engaging with Him.
  • Decide when you are going to set aside 10 minutes each day to read and begin to reflect on the passage and reflection for that day.
  • Before you read the passage for the day pray: ask God to bring to the forefront of your mind whatever he wants to grab your attention with.
  • Read the Bible (quietly, or out loud works best for me, or listening to David Suchet on the NIV Audio Bible) and then be quiet and still, at least until you something arising from the passage, grabs your attention.
  • Whatever it is, write it down. It may just be one word, or a verse from the passage, or something else from your circumstances.
  • Then ask the Lord what you need to see, or do, as a result of being made more aware of whatever it is. Again make a note, so ensuring you have a notebook, or a dedicated page on your i-pad, available is always helpful.



Ruth Whiter

Ruth works as Communications Co-ordinator at the West of England Baptist Association and also as a freelance illustrator and live sketcher.