In the hustle-bustle madness of holiday going, I don’t want to just sneak in a little advent –like it’s a noun. Checking it off my list like a Christmas card in the mail, a quick stop at Costco, a pie in the oven. Advent isn't another noun to consume this holiday. I want plenty of time and space these cold December days to advent – like the quietly abiding verb it can be. Pulling away to meditate on the coming of Christ! However, for some, this idea of sitting in the stillness and manufacturing a holy moment seems daunting. "How many words should I read? How many words should I pray? How long should this take?"
Well, while I hope that we learn to listen long, abide ceaselessly, and find refuge in His drawn-out presence, what if we begin with just 17 syllables? The length of a simple haiku.
Here in the midst of our merry making moments this Christmas season, let me challenge you to pull away each day in order to consider some aspect of God's glorious coming - to advent. I will offer you a daily Christmas theme for you to meditate on. Then you get to worshipfully work at narrowing it down 'til you arrive at its very essence. Boil it on the fiery stovetop of your heart and mind until you get a fragrant and flavorful reduction offering.
That's the art of the haiku... discovering the essence of a thing in 17 syllables.
And so, throughout the month of December I’m hosting a holiday haiku challenge. I’ve invited other writers to advent with me each day in quiet community, and I want you to pick up your pen and join us. The emphasis will be on God’s glory, not on our going-going-going. And isn’t that the true challenge of Christmas? Slowing down... to worship... Him.
The title of the series (and my first haiku) is A Holiday Haiku: Fewer Words.
Day one: Incarnation - by Bethany Hockenbury
Day two: Advent Light - by Michelle DeRusha
Day three: Christmas Cookies
Day six: Be Still and Know - by Cathi Speake
Day 7: Make Room - by Elise Hurd
Day 8: John 3:16
Day 10: Mary - by Becky Keife
Day 11: Lamb of God - by Angie Mosteller
Day 12: Adoration - by Susan Shipe
Day 13: Christmas Traditions
Day 14: Herod - by Kelli Stuart
Day 19: Angels We Have Heard on High
Day 20: Emmanuel - by Tara Ulrich
Day 22: The Shepherds - by Gayl Write
Day 23: Christmas Presents
Day 24: Salvation
Now pick up your pen and join the fun...
17 syllables. That’s it.
17 syllables each day to point our hearts back to Christ this Christmas.
17 syllables broken into 3 lines. The first holds 5 syllables, the second has 7, and the third line wraps it up with another 5.
17 syllables remind me of these lyrics:
Each day you holds a new writing prompt - one word, a short phrase, a lyric, Christmas character, or a scripture reference to inspire your Haiku. Then advent with the Lord as you type out your worshipful response. Leave your poem in the comment thread, or share it on Instagram #holidayhaiku.