Christmas is a swiftly moving season with few clear boundaries. The day after we’ve packed up our Halloween costumes, Hallmark Channel begins nearly two months of twenty-four-seven presentations of Christmas movies. Shortly thereafter, we are inundated with ads inviting us to shop early to get the best bargains. The holiday rush is in full swing by Thanksgiving with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales abounding, and People jostling one another to be 1st to purchase the latest must have Christmas presents. Radio stations begin playing Christmas songs on Thanksgiving Day.
In the fifty-five days from All Saints’ day to Christmas Day, we prepare for Christ coming through online shopping, bargain hunting, photos with Santa coma songs and carols, baking, drinking, and revelling. Despite wars and rumors of war, poverty, addiction, and homelessness, Christmas magic is in the air! That often in the magic we miss the sacredness of the season, the holy time and space of pregnancy, birth, and revelation.
— Bruce Epperly from I Wonder as I Wander: The 12 Days of Christmas
Jesus tells us again to stay awake. “Keep alert”! (Mark 13:33–37) That’s how we’re supposed to wait. He’s saying: As you wait for me, be about the things I’ve told you to be about. Love, care for one another. Be alert to one another’s needs. Be peacemakers and reconcilers and healers. Be ready to pray and rest in my presence. Savor life and don’t put it off—because I am with you here and now. We sometimes use the term “wake-up call.” We usually mean some kind of close call or crisis. But it doesn’t have to be a crisis or near-death experience. Anything can be a wake-up call. Anything can call us to be present in a new way, to savor, to find God …
— Mark A. Villano from Time to Get Ready
- 2019 Advent Guide
- Keeping Advent Simple
- Advent Meditation: Different Every Year
- Making Room for Christmas
- You Keep Us Waiting, Looking, Loving
- The Meaning Is In The Waiting
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