Why Advent?

Why Advent?

 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing
 of your mind
.” (Romans 12:2a)

"Christmas is getting all you can get, while the getting is good." 
 Sally from A Charlie Brown Christmas

It is Advent season again, and it is fair to ask why we celebrate it. Our ordinary days are pressed for time, and the holidays often can mean even more activities and to-do lists. However, it’s exactly because these reasons that we need to honor Advent. We don’t want to reflect the culture, we want to affect the culture, especially at Christmastime.

First, Advent is a time to examine.  Pausing to read and pray gives us the opportunity to ponder our own lives against the lives of Mary, Joseph, and others in that first Christmas story.  Second, Advent can be a cultural re-set. The ‘get-as-much-as you-can’ culture is all around us, and it is so easy to get pulled into that mindset. Instead, focusing on the approach of Christmas reminds us to love as God loves.  

Next, the observance of Advent is insurance against depletion. Face it, there really is such a thing as a post-Christmas letdown, whether it’s the echo of an empty house or just a little too much of everything.  Advent draws us back to the first Christmas filled with life-steadying examples.  

Lastly, the mystery and marvel of Christmas leads to inspiration. Traditions like Advent can be a way to acknowledge and celebrate the miracles within the Christmas story, providing us a way to think about and share the real meaning behind Christmas. 

Lord, help us to set aside time to spend with you, delving into the Christmas story.  Use the familiar to surprise and recalibrate us. Help us to see and learn again lessons to inspire us to live and love others for you.  Amen. 

Written by Stephanie Smith

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