Ever since I was a child Advent has been my favorite Church season. I’m sure at that time it was more about: letters to Santa, Christmas programs at school, decorating the house, saving my allowance to shop, wrapping and giving gifts, baking for family gatherings plus the planning that goes into the celebration of Christmas.
As I have grown older, I still treasure the season of Advent, but for different reasons. Yes, I do still write letters to friends and family, however Santa is not on this list. I still purchase some gifts, not many since our family realizes we all have too much, and gather with family and friends for parties and programs.
Now that I have grown wiser, I look forward to the weeks of Advent for different reasons because it is a special time of waiting, watching and welcoming Jesus into my life, my home. Since Jesus came in history already, we do not wait for Him in that sense. We wait for Him to come personally through a deeper awareness of His presence in each of our lives. Only then will His coming or appearance be experienced by those with whom we live, work, worship and spend time every day, not just at Christmas.
Taking time to reflect on the Advent Scriptures, the readings from Isaiah and the Gospels, to really hear the message and take it to heart is what Advent is all about. Taking time to see Jesus in the ordinary events of each day, preparing to be a Christ light in a dark world, spending some quiet time daily in your favorite prayer place will renew the true meaning of Advent & help us to see that Jesus is already a part of the ordinary comings & goings of each day.
So go ahead and bake, decorate, buy, wrap and give gifts, attend parties and programs, gather to celebrate as families and worship as church families. Realize that Jesus is a part of all these Christmas celebrations. He is the Reason for the Season! Jesus is in the manger, but better yet He lives among us. Have a Blessed Advent Season!