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Blog // Thoughts
December 2, 2012

Advent Sunday 2012

This is Advent Sunday. After today there are only three Sundays left before Christmas. Although Advent is not as well known as Christmas, Easter or Lent, it is still an important time of year for many Christians, especially in the Catholic and Anglican traditions. Many folks treat the start of Advent as the beginning of […]

This is Advent Sunday. After today there are only three Sundays left before Christmas. Although Advent is not as well known as Christmas, Easter or Lent, it is still an important time of year for many Christians, especially in the Catholic and Anglican traditions.

Many folks treat the start of Advent as the beginning of the Christmas season, which is kind of true and kind of isn’t. Advent is actually the season before Christmas; four weeks to reflect upon the meaning of light overcoming darkness, before the celebration of Christmas itself (or Christmastide), a 12 day season (as in the 12 days of Christmas) that runs from late on Christmas Eve and ends before Epiphany, on January 6 (which commemorates the visit of the Three Wise Kings).

The common themes of Advent are waiting and hope, which in our consumer version of Christmas have really become waiting and hoping for stuff; mostly gifts and lashing of food. But, the patience and hope of traditional Advent are more to with waiting and hoping for salvation, either of the personal type, or of the “Peace On Earth And Goodwill To All” kind.

Advent lends itself to reflective self-contemplation, asking us to examine the darkness in our lives and in the world, while wondering what a better future might look like. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, the shorter and colder days, as we approach Mid-Winter help set the mood.

I love the way the themes of Advent provide a rich antidote to the maddening materialism of modern Christmas. While the commercialised Christmas and the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions is all about asking for what we want and wishing to be someone we are not, Advent is largely about asking who we have become – and why.

This kind of honest and searching self-appraisal can be tough to take. But, if we can embrace who we really are, it’s the foundation for genuine hope and an abiding sense of freedom.

So, this Advent, why not make some time, amid the hustle and shopping, to find a quiet corner, a candle, some poetry or music, perhaps your favourite drink and make a few minutes to look over your year, where it has taken you and how you have changed?

After all, the time will soon slip by and before we know it, we’ll be at the end of 2013 asking ourselves – “really, is it that time of year again?”

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Responses
Barbara 9 years ago

a lovely thought……wishes to you…..

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