Today we welcome Thomas Turner, of Everyday Liturgy, Who shares about bread, Advent, and his new free e-book!
I love baking bread.
I love the messy hands, the flour on your shirt, the kneading and scraping and careful watching so that you get the crust and the crumb just perfect. I have this great recipe that makes bread that is warm and crackly goodness. It gets rave reviews. Yet it takes a lot of time. Over 24 hours!
For times when we just need bread and have not prepared, we have a great quick bread recipe we found on Pinterest that only takes a few hours. That recipe makes some good bread. But to get great bread, fantastic bread―the kind that makes you feel like you really could live on bread and water alone―you need a time of preparation to make that kind of bread.
We all know what Christmas should be like. I am certain all of us have the Christmas season and its routines so ingrained in us that we can pull off a nice Christmas party or a rendition of the Christmas story without stressing out too much. But to have a great Christmas, one that is profound and worshipful, we need to prepare. Like great bread, the difference between having a good Christmas and a meaningful Christmas is going to be how we prepare.
The “O Antiphons” are one way that Christians for over 1500 years have been preparing their hearts, souls, minds and bodies to celebrate the coming of Christ at the first Advent, Christmas. To help you and me prepare (Lord knows I need this as well!), I am releasing the prayer book O Antiphons: Prayers for the Advent Season starting today. In this book, I have given a fresh reading of the O Antiphons, along with an Old and New Testament scripture reading and a meditation with discussion questions to guide you during the last week of Advent. From December 17th to December 23rd, you can use this prayer book to prayerfully come into the presence of the baby Jesus, born of a virgin, fully God and fully human in form, who is Wisdom in the flesh, our Lord, the Savior promised from David’s line, our Eternal Light, the King who unites all peoples and our Emmanuel, the God-who-is-with-us.
Starting today, you can pick up your free copy of O Antiphons: Prayers for the Advent Season on Noisetrade. And if you are truly in the Christmas spirit, all of the Noisetrade tips I receive on the book will go toward a nice gift for Jana Miller, who contributed awesome illustrations that you can turn into Christmas or Jesse tree decorations, and toward ending everyday violence against the poor.
Have a Blessed Advent and Merry Christmas!
Thomas Turner is the Strategic Partnerships Research Manager at International Justice Mission and curates Everyday Liturgy, a source for worship and liturgical ideas. He is happy to be living back below the Mason-Dixon line again after a lengthy sojourn in the NYC metro area. You can follow Thomas online, on Facebook and on Twitter.