Advent is not a static time. It is a time when we deepen our commitment to the meaning of Jesus’ life and words. We are not waiting for someone to come. We know he was already born and that he taught a new vision of living, a new way of understanding what it means to relate to God and to one another. The work of Advent is to probe that message, to reopen ourselves to absorb it and, as we prepare to celebrate his birth, to let the meaning of his life be reborn in this time through us.
Jesus, help me to examine my life and to know myself. Give me the courage to know what should change.
Take some time to look at society’s understanding of the days before Christmas. Take one action that supports the spiritual meaning of Christmas rather than a materialistic one.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Jesus, more like us than we ever really imagined, reveals to us the wonder of who we are as bearers of the Spirit of God.
Praying a New Story
The event of Christ is the only event in human history that promises relocation and centering, meaning and purpose. This promise and its fulfillment evoke passionate and heartfelt praise and thanks, especially for those aware of their own brokenness and the healing which Christ brings into their lives.
Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.
One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust, to have faith, but it is God’s grace that gives us that faith. As with all spiritual knowledge, two things are true, and equally true, at once. The mind can’t grasp paradox; it is the knowledge of the soul.
During this Advent season as we celebrate the new relationship between God and ourselves, may that be mirrored in our renewed relationships with spouses, children, family and those near and dear to us. May we speak tenderly to each other amidst all the rush of the season and transform the shopping days till Christmas into the true Advent of Christ.
Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience. The world is not as just, not as loving, not as whole as we know it can and should be. But the coming of Christ and his presence among us—as one of us—give us reason to live in hope: that light will shatter the darkness, that we can be liberated from our fears and prejudices, that we are never alone or abandoned.