Advent is a time of waiting.
While life rushes around us at break-neck speed attempting to get in all the things we “need” to do to have a magical holiday, Advent quietly reminds us that the busy-ness, the rushing, the shopping, the chores, all of it, are not how it’s supposed to be. Advent beckons us to a simpler way. Advent asks us to pause. To be quiet. To listen. To wait.
We take it for granted that the Messiah has already come. His human story here on earth has been told, and we know it by heart. There is no anticipation of something that will happen because it is already past. And because of this, we lose sight of the wonder of Advent. But those who came before us watched and waited for hundreds of years for the Messiah. The deliverer. The one who would save them. And the Nativity was all the more amazing for what they finally received: God in infant form.
Advent is about anticipating God being with us. God coming to earth to save us. The manifestation of God in human form. Each week during Advent, we pause to contemplate the mysteries of this sacred event. The wonder of the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present God of the universe stepping down from his holy throne to be with us. To be one of us and yet not like us. To save us. To love us.
Art can have a way of allowing us to pause and be silent. To notice details and immerse ourselves in a story. To make that story ours. If you so choose, from this guide and the accompanying prints, feel free to display an individual print during each week of Advent and present it with the readings provided. Or, feel at liberty to explore other ways to include the art in your Advent traditions.
May these Advent art devotions allow you to pause and contemplate the true wonder of the season. To anticipate the sacred and divine arrival of God with us.