Advent – what is it? You don’t see it mentioned much anymore. It gets drowned out in the retail noise of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”. And if your inbox is like mine, its under assault with advertising emails. Ditto the television, radio and every social media outlet I use.
But for those of us who still subscribe to the Christian outlook of the holiday season (we are still out there), Advent is a season that is looked forward to with great anticipation.
The word “advent” means “coming” or “arrival”. In this case, the coming of the Christ Child. Beginning on the Sunday nearest November 30th, the season of Advent covers the four Sundays preceding December 25th. It focuses not just on the past, but also on the future and with hope, a future that will bring light to the darkness.
Its easy to get bogged down in everything that’s wrong with the World and admittedly, the modern Christmas seems to add to it with its message of Excess All Areas. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Ultimately, how you choose to observe Advent and the Christmas season is entirely up to you. You don’t have to be of any particular religious persuasion to use this period to give more time to being thoughtful, to showing little acts of kindness to others, to remembering there many out there with much less than you or I, and to be grateful for the real wealth we have; family, friends, good health, count your blessings, all that good stuff, at the risk of sounding preachy.
I guess what I mean is making a bit more of an effort to be human to each other; the best part of our humanity. So as another Advent season begins, take a few minutes to step back and remember a quote from Dr Seuss: