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Advent - Songs of innocence and of experience — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Douglas Spencer

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Advent [Dec. 1st, 2006|12:47 pm]
Douglas Spencer
There's a perception that Advent starts on December 1st, probably because all the commercially-available Advent calendars start today. Of course we all know that Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, but there's no reason why we should let liturgical accuracy get in the way of commercialism ... so here's a post about Advent.

In fact, I'm repeating a comment I've posted elsewhere.
    Advent is about a beginning. It's about a time when the rules changed, when people were released from the old way of doing things and offered a new covanent, when people were released from what was imprisoning them and given new life.

    Christmas, as well as being a celebration of Christ's birth, is also a celebration of his birthday. Every year we stick him back in the cradle and call him "baby Jesus", but every year he grows older, becomes more adult. Christmas comes to remind us that our relationship with God has grown up, that the new life is beginning.

    Elsewhere, in response to one of my other sermons, someone wrote:
      But what you've got here is an entirely different way of approaching it; not to ignore any feelings of sadness but to come at the whole thing from a different angle, an angle where they aren't there anyway.

    Read John 10:10. Some memories are good, but some memories only come to steal and to kill and to destroy. Christ came that you may have life, and have it in abundance. Special offer, repeated every day. Take it.

    Have a blessed Advent.

I wrote about Advent three years ago, here.

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: darth_tigger
2006-12-01 01:00 pm (UTC)
What?!? They don't put candles on the advent crown any more?

Shows how long it's been since I watched Blue Peter.
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[User Picture]From: watervole
2006-12-01 01:48 pm (UTC)
The translation I just looked at (New International) didn't phrase it nearly as poetically. Is that your own version of the words? If so, I like it. It feels appropiate and fits well to what we were discussing yesterday.

Advent is a good time to leave the memories that kill and destroy, and to reach for new life in abundance.
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[User Picture]From: dougs
2006-12-01 04:53 pm (UTC)
In the New International translation, it says "the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they mey have life, and have it to the full". The King James version has "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.". I'm sure other translations say "in abundance", since that's the form in which I remember the expression from my youth, but I don't have such a translation to hand at the moment. Still others say "that they may have and enjoy life until it overflows".

The New International Version claims to have been made "working directly from the bext available Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts", intending to be the most scholarly, faithful and accurate version. It's intended for study. "The first concern of the translators has been the accuracy of the translation and its fidelity to the thought of the biblical writers [...] A sensitive feeling for style does not always accompany scolarship."

The King James version is "appointed to be read in churches", and is therefore intended to be read out, and listened to. It's hardly surprising that it's the more poetic of the two.

If I'm able to take time over something I'm writing for effect, I often try several different translations in order to find one that's particularly appropriate for what I'm trying to say. In this case, it was originally "just" a comment to someone's LJ post, and so my choice of translation wasn't as deliberate. I'm pleased it fits.
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[User Picture]From: lostcarpark
2006-12-02 12:24 am (UTC)
What's this? An attempt to ruin the commercial feast of Advent and Christmas by bringing religion into them? Everyone knows Advent is about opening the little windows to get the chocolate behind!

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[User Picture]From: seph_hazard
2006-12-03 11:55 pm (UTC)
In fact, I'm repeating a comment I've posted elsewhere.

And thank you-really :-) You make a lot of sense about things like this.
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