Saint Andrew’s Family,
Advent Greetings to you!
Advent is, I think, one of the richest seasons of the Church calendar. Filled with history, purpose and meaning, the season invites us into a pattern of quiet reflection, repentance, and a longing for those broken things in our world to be made whole. The prophets invite us to imagine a world free of all kinds of suffering and we cry out into the night, “Come Lord Jesus”.
These weeks before Christmas are thought by many to be simply a time period leading up to Christmas, and logistically, this is true. We are preparing. We set up Christmas trees, put up Christmas lights, begin to brush up on our Christmas carols, and bake Christmas themed sweets. However, so often in our rush for Christmas we completely miss the liturgical significance of the season of Advent. Like those that long for resurrection but are uneager to experience any kind of death, we brush aside the inconvenient and leap frog the uncomfortable work of the season of Advent. We want to skip over the part where we recognize the darker patterns of our world and our need for a savior and get to the candy canes and popcorn chains.
But in a world where the whole of December seems to be a season of “pre-Christmas” Advent strikes a different chord. In the season of Advent, as we await the celebration of the incarnate Christ, we look back at the first coming of Christ into the world, and we look forward to Christ’s future coming in glory when all things will be made right in the world.
It is a season of staring into the darkness and lighting candles of hope, joy, love, and peace.
This is where we live out our lives as Christians within the context of the Church. The Church is that place where we inhabit the space between the times and work out the living of our faith. As those that are a part of a world that is so obviously marred by sadness, destruction, sickness, death, and violence, and yet cling to the hope that is outside of ourselves. Rooted not in human innovation or resilience but in a baby in a manger, in a world to come. I pray that in this season, you will be able to take pause, take a step away, and embrace the purposes of Advent. Not as simply a time to get ready for Christmas, but as a meaningful season in and of itself.