“Advent is the time to prepare the way, Christ was born on Christmas day! Sing and dance children of the Lord, celebrate the seasons of the Son (sun?).”
—a random song in my memory that I could not find searching Google, so I have no attribution.”
Advent has had different meanings for me throughout my life but I have always enjoyed the season. Advent meant the first snow fall, the silence that snow brings, and cold beautiful moonlit nights. It also meant that the Christmas tree was up in our house and I couldn’t wait to get the catalogs to dream of all of the gifts that I wanted.
Now in Advent, I sometimes miss the snow but I am thankful that I don’t have to shovel any. But each year, I am reminded that I need this time. I need this time to reflect and prepare. I need this time to step away from all of the ways that Christmas gets commercialized. I don’t mind singing in minor keys and lighting candles and proclaiming that the “Light shines in the darkness.”
I’m looking forward to Christmas in a different way this year. We have an 18-month-old foster daughter in our house and she is full of wonder. She has the cutest way of saying, “wow” when she sees something that amazes her. Oh that I could experience this season with her wonder. Oh that I could come to Christmas Eve and feel like I was experiencing it all again for the first time. Oh that I could sit back and simply proclaim, “wow.”
In the meantime, I plan to enjoy the Season of Advent. I plan to enjoy singing Holden Evening Prayer and remembering the winter I lived at Holden Village, how the village was snow-covered and quiet under it’s winter blanket. I will remember the moon reflecting off the snow as I would snowmobile as a teenager or snowshoe as an adult. I will sit and enjoy the lights on our tree and on the houses in our neighborhood. I will reflect because we should all reflect at times, it seems easier this time of year when it gets dark so early.
My prayer for each of you is that this “Advent is a time to prepare the way.” My prayer is that you can do this preparation in a way that works for you. Together, let us come to Christmas ready to experience Immanuel, God with us.