What might be gained at an Advent Retreat?
There are as many reasons to go as there are retreat centers worldwide. Each person comes with their longings for answers. And while many settings enhance contemplation, whether sparse desert, lush forests, quiet, noisy, busy-ness, or solitude, our Advent Retreat will be four hours roaming from place to place on our campus at Christ Lutheran. By December 10, our church will start to "look a lot like Christmas" as preparations for the culmination of the Advent season are underway.
Still, we don't want to dismiss the purpose of Advent. We look toward the coming of the Messiah in a three-fold way. We will celebrate the birth of Jesus that manifests God among us; we often invite Jesus to come into our hearts daily to guide and direct us, and we await Jesus' promise to return as king to rule the world in righteousness. Each of these should give us pause to think about our preparedness actually to meet Jesus. This is not about how clean and organized our homes are. This is not a solemn time to contemplate our shortcomings but rather a season to contemplate how we can draw closer to the God that seeks us, calls us, and wants to commune with us every minute of the day. It is a time to deepen our prayer life and quiet the demands of the world’s expectations so that we can see the creative wonder of everything around us.
On November 13th, 20th, and December 4, during adult education, we will learn and practice several spiritual disciplines that will help us pray more deeply and allow scripture to speak to us in new ways. Then December 10, we will put it all into practice during the retreat. We will learn to consider everything in our surroundings with
fresh eyes that are not clouded by what we already “know.” This will be a time to cultivate an openness to hear the Holy Spirit share with us what God is up to now and an invitation to participate beyond what we think our limitations might be. It will be a time of becoming.