At the beginning of a new civil year, we look back on the months that have passed, remembering the highs and lows, becoming aware of how the world has changed and how we have changed with it. At the same time, we look to the new year that lies ahead. Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year (starting Nov. 29), has a similar character. It looks to the future, the Second Coming of Christ and also to the past, the first coming of Christ at Christmas. As we fill our homes with images of the infant Christ, our churches echo the voice of John the Baptist and his call to repentance. As we get busier with shopping, cooking, entertaining and decorating, the Church tells us to slow down and take time to do nothing ~ nothing but wait! As we prepare to celebrate Christ's first coming, we are challenged to ready ourselves for his second coming. We pray for it every day: "Thy Kingdom come." (Lord's Prayer). The Advent season urges us to yearn for Christ's coming with all our hearts. Advent is an opportunity for the people of God to once again rekindle our hope and our longing for the day ~ the day of Christ's return. It is a good time for us to ask ourselves, What would our life be like, how would we live in the world, in our communities, in our workplaces, in our homes, if we lived out the hope that maybe, just maybe, this year will see the coming of The Day? Maybe, just maybe, this will be the year in which Christ returns. Can we imagine this? Advent is a season to do just that. Inside and outside the church, the colors of Advent summon us to prepare in our hearts a way for Christ. (Note the colors in the morning and evening skies.) As we make our preparations for the feast of Christmas, let us not rush the season but anticipate the full joy of Christmas. We invite you to make use of the literature in the church entries. May your Advent days be gentle and calm.
Advent thoughts: ~ A Sense of the Season:
Updated: Dec 7, 2020