Advent starts tomorrow.
Maybe your “Christmas season” started at 4:30am on Friday morning; maybe it started online on Thursday night.
Maybe you are already running at 150 miles and hour.
Maybe you are already stressed out due to family tensions and too-many-parties.
But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here’s a reminder: Advent is about waiting.
If you don’t come from a liturgical background (I don’t, by the way), you may not realize that Christmas actually begins on December 25 and lasts for 12 days (hence the annoying song). The season that leads up to December 25 is called “Advent”, which literally means “the coming into being.”
If you follow the Christian calendar, Advent is a period of time reflect on the significance of the arrival of Jesus Christ into the world.
(Which is kind of a big deal…)
So maybe your holiday season has already begun with a frenetic—even pathological—tone. However, it does not need to remain that way.
After all, it doesn’t take a ton of effort to engage in some moments of reflection and thoughtful contemplation this season.
So here’s my question/challenge: What will you do over the next 25 days to slow down, to reflect, to rise above (or stay below, as the case may be) the Christmas (not Advent) madness?
What if you set aside 10-20 minutes in the morning to reflect and stay silent (or maybe even begin a practice of centering prayer)?
What if you lit a candle each evening at dinner to remind yourself of this light that is “coming into the world”? (see John 1)?
What if you went through a book of Advent reflections?
What if you chose to read through a Gospel (or 2 even) during this season?
Christians are fond of saying, “Jesus is the reason for the season”, but most of us really don’t do anything to actually act like it. We tend to go about our business in much the same way as the rest of the world.
Could this December be different?