What is Advent?...

“In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone. Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, in the bleak midwinter, long ago…What can I offer, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb. If I were a wise one, I would do my part; but what can I offer; all my heart.”

In the Bleak MidwinterNew Century Hymnal #128

Advent is a time of preparation.  A time when we sing, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (God with us).  In the church year Advent is NOT a rush to Christmas.  Advent invites us to slow down a bit in preparing ourselves for the birth of Jesus. If you were expecting a baby wouldn’t you prepare the nursery? Read up on parenting? Wonder if you would BE a good parent? Find a pediatrician, decide what kind of birth you hoped for and whether you would be breastfeeding?  Well, Advent is an interval of preparation as well.

Advent is a time for introspection into our own emotional and spiritual wellbeing. The color of Advent is purple – a color of It can be difficult for some & isn’t always “Merry” when you are sick, alone, estranged, grieving or just plain BUSY with holiday events.  Be alert for where God is leading you.  I think about the Wise Men following a star…equally unsure of where it will lead them, but having faith that their journey is worthwhile.  God IS leading each of us.  

Advent is also the beginning of the church year.  Advent is a time for waiting and anticipation for the birth of something new. Jesus was NOT what the Jews expected. God is like that, you know. Those who sought only what they expected would have missed the event. We, too, must be prepared for something that is greater than we can imagine. Prepare to be surprised, get ready…God is with us!  During Advent, may you come to understand more fully what you have to offer God and the world.  


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