Advent is a season observed by many Christians as a time of preparation and expectant waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. The term comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.” For the last two years, every Advent season, I have followed a list of photo prompts to help me reflect and prepare for Christmas. Many people like to go through a set of readings during Advent but at this stage of life for me, it feels a bit daunting to find time to sit, read, and reflect every day. Having one word to contemplate throughout the day and looking for an image to capture that word allows me to practice Advent in a simple, accessible, and integrated way that flows with the rhythms of my life. This year, I am planning on also involving our daughters in this practice – something I’m really excited about.
The practice of taking one photo a day throughout Advent has enabled me to live with eyes wide open, in both a physical and spiritual sense. In the midst of the hubbub of December, it has allowed me to slow down and be attentive to my life. It has been such a rich practice that I wanted to continue it this Advent. I wasn’t able to find any list of prompts online this year so I created my own.
Advent takes place over the course of the four Sundays before Christmas. This year, it begins on December 3. Traditionally, the Sundays each have a theme: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, respectively. I have used these as the framework and expanded on each theme for the remainder of each week.
I’m sharing my list of prompts here in case anyone wants to join me in this practice. If you decide to post your photo on social media, remember to tag it #AdventPhoto2017. For those who want a black and white printable version, click here.
As we prepare for Christmas, may our eyes and hearts be opened to all the ways God comes to us.