Got Advent?

I have a friend who argues with me about the start of the season of Christmas. He is convinced that November 1st is the true start date of the Christmas season. (Mainly, because he wants to decorate the house, put on his elf shoes, and blast the Christmas music continuously through December 25th).

Every year, on November 1st, he announces that the Christmas season has begun and “O Little Town of Bethlehem” begins to be heard by his neighbors on both sides of his house. I argue that December 15th is as early as I can possibly go! You see, I need the season of Advent. It brings me hope. Lingering days of darkness call me to my knees praying to the One who promises that the light will shine in the darkness.

 

I need the season of Advent to fill me with anticipation for what is coming.
I need the season of Advent to remind me that God promises peace to a violent world.
I need the season of Advent to quiet my own heart for the noise around me.
I need the season of Advent to call me to love at the manger of my Savior.
I need the season of Advent to lift up my head bowed down in prayer for the brokenhearted.
I need the season of Advent to calm my restless soul from its distractions.
I need the season of Advent to remind me that God’s love has no end.
I need the season of Advent to share the joy of the shepherds.
I need the season of Advent to answer the darkness with light.
I need the season of Advent to shock me out of my complacency.
I need the season of Advent to remind me that we are Bethlehem-bound.
I need the season of Advent. It brings me hope. And hope does not disappoint!

So the season of Advent comes to us.

How will you welcome God’s gift of the season? A flurry of shopping, spending, wrapping, worrying, and willing to do Advent differently next year? Or might you take one moment from your day to acknowledge that God has gifted you a season to prepare for the birth of a Savior? To light a candle to chase away the darkness and simply pray the prayer, “Thank you God,” might be all you need to re-center your Advent days into days and nights of peaceful wanderings toward a manger full of joy. I wonder…

Do you need the season of Advent?

I do.

Thank you God.
Rev. Chris Marien

*This article was originally published in Ascension’s December 2017 Newsletter.