What is Advent waiting? We hear many references to the Christmas story, and we know that means the story of the birth of Jesus, the Son of God and the son of Mary. But what do I mean by Advent waiting?
During the Season of Advent the Church calls to mind the Chosen People of God in the Old Testament who were waiting for the birth of the Messiah. The Church reminds us of their waiting every year in her liturgical calendar. There are four weeks in Advent. The last week in Advent may be only a few days before Christmas. This year it is almost a full week.
During Advent there is the retelling of the the waiting by a people who Isaiah the prophet tells us, "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light." (Isa. 9:2) The people were waiting for the fulfillment of the promise issued in Gen. 3:15 by God after the sin of Adam and Eve, " I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. They were waiting for the promised savior.
As we recall week by week the waiting of the Chosen People for the Messiah, we wait. We wait in expectation of the celebration of the birth of the Messiah for He has come! Each week in Advent reminds us of those who waited and longed for Jesus. Each week the Christmas story unfolds as we near Christmas day. The Church reminds us in her liturgical readings during Advent that we are still waiting. We are waiting for Christ to come again at the end of time. Advent is a period of waiting.
In a simple and fun way, each week during Advent I am choosing a cookie cutter symbol of the Christmas story as we wait with our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and students for the Christmas celebration. For week one it will be an angel. We will use angel cookie cutters to make sugar cookies and decorate them all the while learning the part angels played in the Christmas story. Week two we will use the candy cane cookie cutter for the shepherd's staff. We will use a different sugar cookie recipe and learn a bit about shepherds in the Christmas story. Week three will be a candle cookie cutter and we will see how the light was becoming brighter as the Messiah prepared to enter the world. Our last cookie cutter will be the star. The star guided the Magi to Jesus. Star cookies will be our last batch of cookies. They will signal the great solemn, feast of Christmas is about to arrive.
The cookie cutter, recipe, and story will post on the Friday before the weekend of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Sundays of Advent, so you can choose to try the recipe and share its story each week.
Here is the schedule:
November 27/28 First Sunday of Advent
Friday, November 26 Symbol/Cookie Cutter: Angel Recipe: Sugar Cookie 1
December 4/5 Second Sunday of Advent
Friday, December 3 Symbol/Cookie Cutter: Shepherd's Staff Recipe: Sugar Cookie 2
December 11/12 Third Sunday of Advent
Friday, December 10 Symbol/Cookie Cutter: Candle Recipe: Sugar Cookie 3
December 18/19 Fourth Sunday of Advent
Friday, December 17 Symbol/Cookie Cutter: Star Recipe: Sugar Cookie 4
If you do not have the cookie cutters already, you can find them in many of your Catholic religious goods stores, Walmart, or Amazon. Below are pictures of cookie cutters from Amazon.
Wishing you a fun and joyous time of waiting with children!