Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent: Introduction

picture of liturgical art in the Lutheran church in Rundu, Namibia; the caption on this painting reads “the beginning of our salvation”

So, what brought this on? I don't know. I was thinking of doing something other than the usual Christmas letter this year and thought I might do a picture Advent calendar that people could print, with pictures from our time so far in Botswana and related Scripture verses. I worked on that for a bit but couldn't get the pictures to fit right. Then, I thought about doing something web-based, not so problematic for layout. Hey, I already have a daily posting system in place via this blog, right? So, I started looking through pictures. I also started reading through Scripture. I ended up coming back to Isaiah over and over so I decided to stick with Isaiah for the 24 days and see what came together in my compiling process. Isaiah has always been a chewy book for me—Isaiah 54 in particular has been important in my history.

Here it is—the Advent in Isaiah & Botswana calendar… probably the world's first. Nothing too heavy, just some musings as I browsed pictures and Scripture together. Feel free to interact with the reflection questions with the comment function at the end of each posting, if you're comfortable doing so. I'd be interested to see who checks out the calendar. Do open the chapters and read the verses around them; Spirit-led browsing of the context will usually take you far beyond where any devotional resources will.

For Scripture references, I'm using the NET Bible. I love the thoroughness of the notes in the NET translation. Also, I love the fact that they have it available as a free download that, because it's html, it works on any operating system. I have all kinds of Bible-software on the Windows side of my computer but I like to have something just for reading on the Mac side as well. The NET Bible is working great for me.

I've set this up so that, each day, that day's Advent entry will appear. So, you won't be able to read ahead but you will be able to see the entries of the days before, in case you miss a day or two.

Tomorrow, our mutual Advent journey begins…

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