Advent Has An Edge (#SmallWonder link-up)

In early November a dear friend mentioned her desire to offer a pre-advent Advent retreat, she even had a title picked out, "The Edge of Advent."  She wanted to offer a space for people to prepare for the season, to stand on its edge and determine ahead of time what practices, what questions, might steer their journey toward the arrival of the Holy One.  I loved the idea and when my friend's husband fell sick, I chose to offer the retreat myself, because I knew I dearly needed it. 

Yesterday, a small handful of people gathered at Still Waters Retreat House in Carlisle, PA to listen and reflect.  The following is a compilation of a few thoughts I shared about Advent's edge.  

Advent Has an Edge.  

An Edge can be sharp,
like a knife, or dull.
Cutting Edge is new and exciting,
Edgy is raw and unsettled, like the wilderness
where John the Baptist appeared,
and all the people went out
to meet him there.

An Edge is a place of transition,
liminality, and potential.  God
seems to prefer the Edge and
those who dwell in it; appearing
most often among and to those
who find their way there
by faith or fate.       

Advent boasts a warning sign: 
Traveler Beware, the journey 
from here will leave you 
On Edge. You will know 
you're on the right path
when you find yourself dislocated,
caught between comforts like 
Mary and Joseph of long ago.

Advent reveals the Sharp Edges
of things - the sorrow on joy's fringes,
the place where light and darkness meet,
and the way every possession positions us
for loss.  Advent’s prophets declare
upheaval, a great rending of the
tapestry of this world.  Those in power
tremble, but the humble rejoice.     

Advent has an Edge. 
It is a beginning,
it is an end.  

I'd love to hear what you're reading or practicing during Advent this year.  In particular, I'm looking for new Advent materials for us to use as a family.  Let me know in the comments below!

*   *   *

Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.  

What if we chose to deliberately look for small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God?  

That's my proposal - that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.  You're invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder.  Don't worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right - you're welcome to come as you are.  

While you're here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.  Thanks for being part of our community!  


  1. We usually have an Advent wreath and find some readings. One year we used a book by Michael Card along with his music "The Promise." I'm not sure what we will do as a family yet, but we will have a wreath and candles. I'm planning to read Kris Camealy's book, "Come, Lord Jesus," with an online group. Blessings to you, Kelly!

  2. I'm reading Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting by Kris Camealy over the Advent season this year. This will also be the family's first year with advent candles.

  3. Your retreat sounds lovely, Kelly! What a neat idea. I'm sorry, I don't have any family resources. I'm reading Sheila Atchley's beautiful creation, The Women of Advent, and Kris Camealy's Come, Lord Jesus (which seems to be popular!). Hard to believe Advent begins this Sunday already. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  4. This is very insightful, Kelly! I hadn't thought of Advent with an edge, but I definitely get your point and agree. Praying for you and yours to have a wonderful Thanksgiving.