Advent Idea: “The Amazing Story”
Last year I worked with a church in Florida, helping to brainstorm an Advent theme called “The Amazing Story.” As many of you know, I am an advocate for a strong central image that ties a season together. Why? Cognitive scientists tell us that one of the most effective ways to solidify a message in our memories is repetition. Having a central image (or “theme”) that weaves itself over a period of time gives us the benefits of repetition, but also time to go deeper and deeper in our understanding of it. And when our liturgies form us in deep and memorable ways, they become the stories that help instruct our lives outside of worship. Also, having a central image helps us shape the components of our worship into a memorable whole. And it gives us new and creative ideas for how to spread the message beyond the walls of our sanctuaries. This idea is based on the image of “story” and features a storyteller who is woven into the lighting of the Advent candles each week. I’ve also adapted a Communion prayer for the theme. Check it out!