It’s Advent season, or if you prefer, the insane and busy Christmas season. If you don’t know what Advent means, don’t worry, it’s a weird word and a season we talk about in church but pretty much no where else. Type Advent into a simple Google search and right at the top is a simple definition from Wikipedia, “Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning “coming”.” If you’re not a fan of Wikipedia then you’ll get plenty of other results in that search.
This time of year, at least in the church, is supposed to be a time of reflection and preparation for God with us. In real life though it seems that most of our time is spent on school programs, family gatherings, gift purchases, decorating, and everything else under the sun – the busyness of this time of year leaves little time for anything like reflection or preparation or waiting.
Over at Living Lutheran they’ve put together a great piece with “Six ways to find peace this Advent” and it’s definitely worth a look. They note that in this Advent season you can say no, “It’s tempting to get caught up in the allure of potential plans because it can make us feel important, worthy and special. Similarly, guilt and awkwardness can arise when we feel the urge to meet other people’s expectations of our personality or behavior. Give yourself permission to say no in order to prioritize the balance of your needs and to protect your time and energy. Remember, a packed calendar isn’t the same thing as a full life.” They conclude their piece with this: “Multiple demands on our minds and time can cause us to rush through the holidays without recognizing the holy and sacred. This year give yourself permission to slow down and pay attention to the traces of faith all around you. And above all, allow yourself to trust and anticipate the radical love and compassion that Jesus brings, this Advent and every day.”
Take a look at the article and take a little time for yourself and your faith this Advent season. Get ready for Christmas day meals and gifts, string the decorations, clean up the house for the family gathering, run to the various programs and events but remember to take time for your faith, for your life, for some thought and prayer and reflection on God with us in the midst of all the busyness, God with us in life, God with us in all things. Sometimes a few moments of calm, prayer, and reflection can mean the world.