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Christmas is packed with personal traditions. Every year we hang up the same tree decorations. Every year we gather with our loved ones to celebrate the same big holiday. Every year we try to come up with a creative gift for someone special and basically get the same gift we did the year before.

So the question is, can the story of Jesus in a manger really surprise us one more time around? Can Christmas hold more meaning than all the ornaments, intricate family meals, and presents wrapped under the tree?

Advent is a time to return to the story of Jesus’ coming. And in returning, we find that we aren’t the same person we were even a year ago. The Divine’s coming to us in human flesh is charged with the unexpected. There’s the unexpected way an old story becomes new. There’s an unexpected baby who holds the mystery of the universe. There are unexpected angels sent to declare that heaven has come to earth and nothing is the same anymore.

Advent 1: The With-ness of God - Jeremy Duncan

DIscussion Notes

Today we are looking at how in the birth narratives both Luke and Matthew draw inspiration from and transform the text of Isaiah.

Advent 2: The Magnificat - Bobbi Salkeld

Discussion Notes

Today we are looking at how the songs of Hannah and Mary expand our imagination of God and speak to our deepest needs.

Advent 3: The Flight - Scott Wall

Discussion Notes

Today we are looking at Matthew’s creative use of the prophet Hosea’s words, while reflecting on what it means to practice holy remembering during Advent and how God does not sidestep the costs associated with being human.

Advent 4: Full Filled - Jeremy Duncan

Christmastide - Yelena Pakhomova