Advent, The Church-English Dictionary defined Advent as ‘from the Latin Ad Verso, which means “To crowed out God before Christmas with activities of dubious worth”.’ Could there is some truth in that.
Advent is a word which we do not hear as much now. Mike and I were surprised to see a pub down here decorated for Christmas in the middle of November. In Leicester we were used to the city being lit up for the Indian festival of light, at this time of the year, which changed very little for Christmas.
Shops and T.V. are full of newly launched and awaited for adverts now, how have things got so out of hand. Advent like Lent is a time for getting ready for Christmas, not a time for Celebration. It should be full of anticipation and joy, as we await the coming of Jesus. We do not celebrate Christ’s rising until Easter Morning, why do we celebrate his birth before Christmas Eve. In Church we light one candle each week in readiness for the day Christ is born, it is a slow build up.
These four weeks are not simply a rush to 25 December, a hectic dash between carol services and office parties up to a particular deadline, but a season in which to be taken by surprise. Advent evokes those uncertain, frustrating, exciting weeks of final expectation before a birth, days to stay close to the phone, to make sure there’s fuel in the car and to act when the call comes. The journey through Advent, short as it is, can seem like a race, but if we slow down for long enough every day maybe we can find the signposts from the scriptures, and with prayer, be pointed toward the Babe of Bethlehem who is the eternal Word of God.
So I am going to give you a list of readings and prayers each week through Advent, for you to study and uses, if you would like. Let’s slow down and enjoy the anticipation of Advent this year, meditate, pray and listen so we can really get ready for the birth of that very special baby.