Follow Along With Our
2011 Advent Guide
This Year's Theme:
The Places We Have Seen Jesus
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. - Luke 2:12
The first witnesses of the birth of Jesus were the shepherds. They saw Him wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. What a strange place to find Jesus. But, through the centuries Jesus has been seen by faith in other places and events such as in the life of a godly person, in a good deed done for others, in events where His hand has been at work, in the strangers whom we happen to meet at moments in our lives, in the life of a homeless person who needs a place to lay his head and in a song or a sermon.
One of the names given to Jesus by the prophet Isaiah is Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” Often we do not see Jesus at that moment but in hindsight we can attest that He was there and at work.
What is Advent?
We keep track of time and seasons of the year by using calendars that provide us opportunities to observe, commemorate and celebrate certain events or occasions. The changing seasons of the year also provide us with recurring opportunities to celebrate the Christian faith in worship. The Christian church, following earlier Jewish tradition, has long used the seasons of the year as an opportunity for festivals and holidays, sacred time set aside to worship God as the Lord of life.
|Copies of the guide are available in the lobby of Wokship/Career Development, located on the first floor of Lassiter Student Center across from the mailroom. Copies also will be distributed at Honors Chapel this Thursday, Dec. 8.|
While Jewish celebration revolves around the Eodus from Egypt, the Christian church year focuses in the life and ministry of Jesus. The sequence of festivals from Advent to Resurrection Sunday is an annual spiritual journey for worshippers as they kneel at the manger, listen on a hillside, walk the streets of Jerusalem, hear the roar of the mob, stand beneath the cross, and witness the resurrection. The rest of the church year provides opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the coming of Jesus and His commission to His people to be a light to the world.
Many churches in the Protestant tradition do not celebrate in any deliberate or sustained way the various seasons of the church year beyond Christmas and Easter. However, the observance of the seasons of the church year has a long history in the life of the Christian Faith.
The Christian calendar is organized around two major centers of Sacred Time: Advent, Christmas and Epiphany; and Lent, Holy Week and Easter, concluding at Pentecost. The rest of the year following Pentecost is known as Ordinary Time, from the word “ordinal,” which simply means counted time (First Sunday after Pentecost, Second Sunday after Pentecost, etc.).* Advent is a time to celebrate the coming of Christ nto the world. This year, Advent begins on Sunday, Nov. 27, and ends on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. It is a sacred time for Christians to reflect upon their relationship with the Creator God who chose to ecome incarnate in His Only Son, Jesus the Christ.
The Advent Devotional Guide is intended to provide you a few brief moments each day to reflect on the most remarkable event in human history, God’s action of taking upon Himself the role of one born of Mary who is both full humanity and full deity.
*from Seasons of the Year by Dennis Bratcher, Copyright © CRI/Voice, Institute
The 2011 Advent Guide is Dedicated to Student Lauren Graham
On June 5, 2011, Lauren Graham, a student at Palm Beach Atlantic University, was critically injured in a car accident. Lauren had only days earlier returned from India as a part of a student missions team. Sitting in the front passenger seat, she took the full brunt of the vehicle that slammed into the side of the car. Lauren was taken by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach where she remained in a coma for several days.
if you would like to give to support PBA Student Missions.
to visit Lauren's Web page and support her in her recovery
At first, no one knew with certainty whether or not Lauren would live. In addition to multiple internal bruises and fractures of bones, she suffered a traumatic brain injury. Even if she lived, the doctors were uncertain about whether or not Lauren would ever recover fully from the injuries to her brain.
The tragic accident occurred at the beginning of summer. As we begin the Advent season, Lauren has far surpassed even the most optimistic prognoses. She survived and gradually began a lengthy healing process. She is now able to walk, talk, write and go places with her family and she continues to make daily progress.
Through the sustaining and healing power of God in her life and with bulldog determination on Lauren’s part, she hopes to return to complete her degree at PBA where she is a graphic arts major in the University’s Supper Honors Program.
Lauren has been and continues to be an inspiration to her classmates, faculty and staff at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
We are dedicating the 2011 Advent Devotional Guide to her and her remarkable family.
We asked Lauren if she would write a devotional herself for the Advent Devotional Guide without knowing that the Guide would be dedicated to her. She eagerly consented. You can read Lauren’s devotional found on Day 1, Sunday, Nov. 27.
Her dad, Sherwood David Graham, shared these words: “We are trusting that God will not only teach us His statutes through our afflictions and obedience through our sufferings, but that God’s handiwork in Lauren’s life will cause each of you to see that ‘the Sun of life divine, through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.’ May we all bring Him much glory as part of Lauren’s story.”
Lauren, over these past months we have seen Jesus through you.