12 days of Advent
Advent begins today, Friday 1 December, and is a time of preparation for Christmas: decorating houses, sending Christmas cards, buying presents and planning meals for the Christmas period. Advent is also, in the Christian faith, traditionally an opportunity for spiritual reflection ahead of Christmas Day itself.
This year our Lay Chaplain, Mrs Kay Dodsworth, has proposed '12 days of Advent' for any members of our school community to incorporate into their Advent reflections, should they wish: 12 suggestions or 'invitations' to consider as we prepare for Christmas. Those who are interested in participating may choose to take up the invitation for each of the 12 days or to choose one to do throughout the 12 days, or to use the invitations in any other way that helps in their preparation for Christmas.
Friday 1 December
At Christmas time we enjoy sharing special food and giving gifts but many will not have enough to eat on Christmas Day.
Invitation: Discuss with your form the possibility of agreeing to write one large card signed by everyone and donating the money you would have spent on cards to CAFOD.
Saturday 2 December
Jesus came to the world as an outsider in Bethlehem, with no place to stay. Do I welcome outsiders? Or do I resent anyone breaking into my circle of friends?
Invitation: Welcome someone who looks as if they might like to join my group’s conversation.
Sunday 3 December
Jesus was born in a country that was suffering from occupation and frequent political instability, including terrorist attacks and persecution, just like many situations today. Instead of treating the consequences of violence, how much better if we can avoid it happening. One way to do this may be by listening to others.
Invitation: Listen, really listen, to each person who talks to you today.
Monday 4 December
Mary, Joseph and Jesus became refugees when they had to run away to their neighbouring country, Egypt, to escape execution at the hands of Herod’s soldiers.
Invitation: Pray for people who are refugees today, people who have had to run away from war, starvation or persecution.
Tuesday 5 December
Joseph was called to look after Mary and Jesus, which he did by finding a shelter in which Mary could give birth and taking them out of harm’s way.
Invitation: Could you take care of someone today? Perhaps someone who is feeling left out or sitting alone at lunch, someone who needs help with work or finding something they have lost. Perhaps helping care for siblings at home or giving an extra hug to a parent or grandparent.
Wednesday 6 December
God created a beautiful and wonderful world. God came into the world as a baby to show us how much God loves us and to show us that we need not be afraid of God.
Invitation: Say ‘wow’ to God about something God has made or done.
Thursday 7 December
The shepherds were filled with joy when they saw Jesus and his family.
Invitation: Can you share joy with someone today, perhaps by smiling at them or inviting them to join you in a fun activity?
Friday 8 December
Jesus came with good news for the poor as well as the rich. The shepherds who were poor were the first to receive the Good News.
Invitation: Can you bring good news to the less fortunate by contributing to the food bank in school or at the local supermarket this week?
Saturday 9 December
Jesus is God incarnate, God made man, and we are all made in the ‘image of God’, we all have God’s spirit in us.
Invitation: Spend a few minutes in quiet thanksgiving, thinking about the fact that God’s spirit of love lives in us, loves us and loves others through us.
Sunday 10 December
God gave us the world to care for, to be good stewards of the world. Jesus taught us to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Invitation: Can you save some of the world’s resources today, perhaps by saving water or recycling paper or only taking what you are sure you will eat at lunch?
Monday 11 December
The angels sang to glorify God when they appeared to the shepherds.
Invitation: Is there a song that inspires you or helps you to praise God? Sing it today.
Tuesday 12 December
All the food we have from the earth is a gift from God.
Invitation: Thank God for the food you eat today.