Why Advent

December 3rd, 2018 Posted in writing

Advent is the season when we prepare to celebrate the great feast of Christmas, and it does so in at least three ways.

First of all, it reminds us to slow down. Advent is not a season for frantic running around, though our consumer culture seems to say the opposite. Advent is a more contemplative season, when we can make use of things like darkness and candle light and when we can (if we live in the right place) walk in the snow and look up at the stars.

Secondly, a major purpose of Advent is to remind us of our need and desire for God. We probably like to be self-sufficient and in control of our lives and the people and things around us. But Advent invites us to realize that we will never be at peace until we can embrace the truth that, though we may have many strengths, one of the greatest strengths is knowing our need and longing for God, whose coming we celebrate at Christmas.

Lastly, Advent is a season to realize that God does hear the desires of our hearts for him and is more than ready to respond to them. St. Augustine remarked that the whole of the Christian life can be seen as one great act of desire, and Advent reminds us that our desires are holy and will be fulfilled, since they prepare us to let God come in when he knocks at the door of our lives.

So, as we begin Advent, let’s take time to slow down and to get in touch with our desire and need for God. Then Christmas can truly be an answer to our Advent prayers and longings.

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