Advent Around the World

By Camille Holland
In eLetter
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The Advent season is a time for reflection, anticipation, excitement and family traditions. Our family loves to cook and buy ornaments. Each year, we pull out our favorite recipes and the treasured ornaments we’ve collected that remind us of past holiday experiences. One year, we found my grandmother’s cookbook. It contained recipes we hadn’t tried in years and just the smell took me back to my childhood.

We also enjoy trying new things during the Advent season. One year, my sister came home from a business trip raving about her experience with cioppino, an Italian fish soup. Now, she makes it for us in the days leading up to Christmas. Another year we even made tamales from scratch with my mother-in-law, which was fun and delicious.

Advent invites us to reflect on the story of Jesus, and as we reflect on his story, we can’t help but reflect on our own. How has Jesus shaped and changed us? How has he revealed himself through the unique experiences of our lives? How has he uniquely created us to reflect him in our world?

IBC is a congregation full of different stories, different cultures, and different experiences all woven together to make a beautiful tapestry—a beautiful picture of Jesus’ kingdom on earth. Last year, I sat in service one Sunday morning looking around at the diversity in our congregation and thought about the different stories of Advent that we experience. In that moment, I wondered what it might look like to celebrate a few of these stories. And that’s how the Advent Around the World guide was born.

The Advent Around the World guide is an illustrated look at the diverse ways our IBC community experiences and celebrates Advent. The guide has grown from last year and we hope it will continue to evolve as our congregation grows and changes. Take a few minutes to read through the guide here, maybe trying out a recipe or singing a song at home with your own family. And if you’d like to share a tradition from your own culture, we’d love to hear from you.

Happy exploring!

Go here to view the digital version of this year’s Advent Around the World guide.

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