A Meditation for Advent and Christmas
Time slips by, the seasons change, babies are born, children grow, adults find gray hairs on their heads, elders reminisce, and here we are, another Advent, and another calendar year almost at an end.
During Advent, we look forward to Christmas, to the inspiring story of a little family making a hard journey, a baby born in a place for animals using their feed box for a bed, the humble beginnings of our Lord’s life on this earth. Advent is also a time for looking to next year, to our future and the future of the world, and to the end of time and how we will live our lives until our personal end comes.
How do we want to live? How can we avoid regret as we look back on our lives? Advent provides time to think about these tough questions. Advent calls us aside, away from those false gods hustle and bustle, those petty idols that demand so much of our time. Advent calls us aside for a moment each day to be quiet.
In these weeks when the world pummels us with messages about the gifts we want and the gifts we want to give, Advent quietly suggests we already have the gifts that matter, the ones that last and can’t be taken away from us.
Advent invites us to count our blessings, to notice the wonders that surround us, to give thanks for the many gifts God has given us, to share those gifts with the people on our path. During this time of year, it is tempting to notice what is missing—a person we wish could be with us, more money to buy better gifts, a perfectly decorated house. Maybe we wish someone special would be nicer to us or that a loved one would stop self-destructive behavior. Most of us want something to be different, and we get frustrated when we can’t change what is. Advent invites us to be calm and quietly focus on our blessings, not our burdens. Then we can work on living the life we want to remember as we approach our last days: living the life of the person God created us to be. Ρ
Prayer to Begin Advent
Lord and Brother Jesus,
You came to reveal our loving God,
you came to show us the way to life with God,
you came to teach us how to love each other.
Bless us this Advent with
a little quiet,
a little peace,
a little time to reflect on how we might be
the loving people you call us to be.
We pray, be born in us, be born in our world.