2017 Advent Reflection Introduction
Advent, if we are not intentional can become overlooked by many because we can focus so much on the business of Christmas. Some people in our communities when they see the month of December approaching, start pulling out the Christmas decorations, putting up Christmas lights, planning their Christmas vacations, making their Christmas list, and planning Christmas parties.
If we are not careful we can miss the power of Advent. Why? Advent is that season in the life of the Church where we are asked to slow down, stop and reflect on the meaning and the reason for Advent. We can all be caught up on the busyness of life and become distracted with all of the worries that our busyness presents to us. The Church asks us to stop and reflect on the full meaning of the Christmas Season.
Christmas is more than buying, giving and receiving gifts. In the Churches that follows a Liturgical Calendar, we will see purple decorations, Advent Candles and Banners. We of hear or read the phases, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” This is a true statement! Advent seeks to remind us all that, “Jesus is the reason for the season,” and reflect on what that means for us.
The spirit of Advent calls us to live in the season of “expectation,” “anticipation,” “preparation,” and “longing.” We can reflect on the journey of the Hebrew Children that were slaves on the land of Egypt. They too lived their lives with “expectation,” “anticipation,” “preparation,” and “longing” for freedom. We may not be slaves today, but are all seeking relief from the stress, discouragement, disappointment, sorrows, the pressures of life, etc.
Part of the spirit of Advent is the calling to and for “expectation” and “anticipation” of the coming of Jesus. We too long for God that will come and set the world in order and call people into accountability. Advent calls us to reflect on the parable of the bridesmaids who are anxiously awaiting the coming of the Bridegroom (Matt 25:1-13). Just like the bridesmaid, we are awaiting, with expectation and anticipation of the coming of our Lord Jesus.