Why do we do Beer Advent? Well, I really enjoy beer and the many tastes and styles of it. I also know my own heart and how easily led astray it can be, especially during this time of year. Beer Advent’s sole purpose is to enjoy different tastes of beer while living in the posture of ‘slowing down, mediating, and ordering your rhythm of life around something bigger.’ That something bigger is the season of Advent. I remember growing up in my Christian home and Advent was always the ‘thing’ that we did (lighting the Advent candles) to simply speed up the coming of Christmas. It was nothing that I really ever pressed into or allowed to resonate with my heart. The liturgical calendar (one that I was not familiar with growing up in my evangelical home) and the understanding of it has grounded me in a narrative and rhythm of life that is bigger than my own individual, personal walk with Jesus. I always knew that Christmas was more than just the materialism and commercialism that our society pushes on us during this time of year, but since I’ve dove into the richness of Church traditions that frame my time and perspective, my spiritual journey has become so much more rooted and authentic. The following excerpt is something that has greatly encouraged and challenged me as we enter into the season of Advent. It comes from a ministry called: Liturgical Folk
“Advent is the first season of the Church Year. It begins on the Sunday four weeks prior to Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. It is the season in which followers of Jesus begin again their annual journey with Jesus from His conception to His coming again. During Advent, we enter into the story of Israel, identifying with the children of Israel held captive in their own land, longing for a Messiah to come and rescue them. It is also a season for us to read ourselves and wait with eager expectation for the Second Coming of Christ.
Like Lent, Advent is a fresh start for Christians. It is an opportunity for us to purge ourselves of false messiahs and turn our hearts back toward the one true Messiah, Jesus Christ. We live in a world of false gods and powerful kings that vie for our allegiance and often succeed at capturing our hearts. Just look at the frenetic and materialistic way our culture celebrates Christmas. If we allow ourselves to simply go with the flow, we will be swept into the currents of idolatry and self-worship. We need seasons like Advent to help us renounce and re-order our rhythms into Christ.
Advent is also a time for us to prepare for the coming of Christ. The word “Advent” means, “the arrival.” Jesus came to us once as a baby in Bethlehem. He will come to us again in the end. And He comes to us now by His Spirit, as we His presence daily and call upon His name. It is this past, future, and present advent for which we prepare this season.
So we put ourselves in the counter-cultural posture of silence and waiting. We refrain from the instant gratification of getting whatever we want whenever we want. And we allow ourselves to feel our need for a Savior. The season of Advent can lead us in this way, and, if we choose to participate, our celebration of Christmas will be more joyful and meaningful.”
Cheers to Beer Advent 414 circa 2020. May your walk with Christ grow deeper and richer as you press into the meaning and rhythm of Advent! Thanks for joining me in the waiting!
“Wait for the Lord, whose day is near. Wait for the Lord, keep watch take heart” – Songs of Taize
Grace and Peace,