It’s the First Sunday in Advent. There’s a light dusting of snow and although it just coming down lightly, I expect the snow will turn to rain before it stops. Still a little too warm. Before Thanksgiving, houses had their Christmas lights and those dreadful inflatable yard decorations, the overwhelming majority of which have nothing to do with what the season is supposed to be about.
Advent is supposed to be a time of waiting and expectation, preparation for the coming celebration of the Nativity. In some cultures, it is a time of fasting, but much of that is obviously lost in the frenzy that we are encouraged to have before Christmas.
We should have two kinds of preparation, one spiritual and the other in our daily lives, guided by the spiritual. Advent should be a time of considering the future, one in which we live as if the Kingdom of God is a reality, not just some distant dream.
Prayer for the Day
Coming before you, O God, we ask for the possibility of hope,
That the world will not always be as it is now;
Looking about us, O Lord, we see so few signs of real hope,
For what we see are anger and disappointment.
But you, O God, all us to see the world in a new light,
One where we can share your hope for all.
In the name of the One who becomes our hope,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Thoughts for the Day
A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes ... and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letter from prison, Germany (1906-1945)
Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God's own love and concern.”
Mother Teresa, from Love: A Fruit Always in Season (1910-1997)
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert will rejoice and blossom,
Like the crocus, it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God,
Isaiah 35: 1-4a