Rach's Reflections - My Little Jar of Advent

This year, for the first time ever, I've not had a chocolate Advent calendar. I actually thought that I might go without anything this year; I'd looked at the different charity options, the "think, pray and act" sort of things, and seen the "take a photo everyday" style but had not found something that I really wanted to do to mark Advent. 

However, the Monday before Advent started I was at the new Lancaster SCM group and one of the members there had brought jars to make Advent calendars with. There were two activities involved, decorating the jars and writing 24 tasks that we subsequently mixed up between us, ending up with a random selection each of actions, Bible readings, prayers, and thoughts. 

In the past 18 days, I've had four different types of task. I thought I'd share with you some of the things I've had to do so far: 

1. Go to a shop only for the purpose of buying a donation for the food bank.
12. Give someone in your office/team/course a bit of chocolate/bit of fruit for no reason at all.
13. Wish a stranger Merry Christmas.
Bible Readings
2. 1 Samuel 17
6. Psalm 37:5
7. Genesis 3
15. "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great life" Isaiah 9:2
16. John 1:1-18
17. 1 Samuel 16
3. Say a prayer for a friend in need.
4. Prayer: friends who are close by
5. Prayer: Community Leaders
Thoughts to embody.
 8. God is Awesome!
9. Find rest in God
10. Rudolph was not in the stable
11. Give thanks to God.
14. God rocks
18. Spend a few moments giving thanks for the unique and wonderful gift that is YOU.

I've not always managed to do what was asked of me on the day I picked it from the jar, and as is often the case I haven't done all the Bible readings (I really must get a Bible app on my phone!) However each day I've been challenged in who I am going to be that day. Whether it has been focusing on what the nativity story is really about (not Santa's reindeer), sharing what I have (both material items and joy) or praying for those in need, I've found time to be reminded what Advent and Christmas are truly about, and how my life can and should reflect that. 

 I can't quite believe Christmas is only a week away, and I am glad I still have 7 more challenges to shape and inspire me!

This is probably my last blog of 2017, so I'll take the opportunity now to wish you a wonderful Christmas.