You have probably been to the shops and have seen the vast array of Advent calendars that are available. You can celebrate Advent by opening a box each day to enjoy tea, lip gloss, Lego, fragrance, craft beer, and even cheese. In fact, if it wasn’t for an ordering gaff, I would be celebrating this Advent with 24 different Harry Potter bobble heads. It’s actually become a bit obscene!
We have totally forgotten what Advent is about! Advent is about the patient waiting and anticipation of the Saviour and we, our culture, have turned it into a time of indulgence and consumption.
Polly MacKenzie writes: “giving ourselves a present every morning is the opposite of what Advent is for. It doesn’t train our patience, it weakens it. It doesn’t help us find the last drop of joy [in whatever gift we received]… it teaches us not to care, because another present is on its way tomorrow.”
Advent involves waiting and anticipation, it involves wonder and patience and, ultimately, the stretching out of a moment of joy. Every day in Advent, we take a moment to pause and reflect on what the coming of Christ will mean to us.
The traditional Advent calendar helps us with our reflection; each day you open a picture box and slowly the nativity story is revealed, from the star to the donkey to the manger. Little by little, the coming of our Saviour is told to us and we are asked to pause and contemplate and wait.
So why don’t you and I try to encourage one another to resist the hefty, consumptive Advent calendars being sold out there. Maybe we can try something like the reverse Advent calendar, explained on page 4 in this newsletter. Or perhaps, we can just take a moment each day and meditate or reflect on Scripture.
This year I’m going to resist the Harry Potter bobble heads and instead light an Advent candle and find the glory in anticipating the Saviour who comes to share divine light in the world.
May Advent be a time for you to find your spirit, in waiting for joy to grow and for the Saviour to come.
Peace and Blessings,
Rev. Nadine Nicholds