Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How To Really Rock This Christmas Season! by Kaila Pettigrove

Summer is coming…

Imagine lying on the ocean, in a boat or on your back, just letting the waves rock you back and forth…back and forth. From birth, we find rocking a soothing motion – hence the popularity of cradles and rocking chairs (used at each end of our life!). Back and forth, back and forth.

And yet, before we can truly enjoy summer; we must “get through” the Christmas season. Hardly a back and forth –with pageants and prizegivings, candlelight and Christmas Day services – we are racing to go STRAIGHT THROUGH!

BUT WAIT!  Advent is coming…literally. As you know, advent means “coming.” Rather than going STRAIGHT THROUGH, it denotes the beginning of our circular church calendar.

As the Rev. Jerome Berryman explains in his book Young Children and Worship, the Church “tells time by celebrating the events of Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, and his ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit.”* The cycles and traditions of Advent and Easter add meaning and accomplishment to our lives. Children especially love ritual and repetition, and so do we! Whether you follow an advent calendar, light candles, or complete a series of acts of kindness; marking the time leading up to Christmas enables us all to build anticipation to the ending of one part of the church year and beginning a new one. We are all “born anew” when we celebrate the coming of Christ and God’s ultimate act of love in our lives.

What ritual will you incorporate into your church and your private life this season? How will we acknowledge our innate sense of rhythm and need for that repetition and cyclical feeling? Take a moment, swing on a swing or rock on a rocking chair. Then make a commitment to your advent ritual.

For more ideas, visit:

Kaila Pettigrove is a Part Time Kids Friendly Coach based in Auckland. Every year, she tries and tries to make space to celebrate Advent with her family.

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