To many in American society, the season of Advent is virtually unknown. In stores everywhere you can find Advent calendars, candles, and wreaths providing a glimpse that Advent is something special in the Christian calendar. With the beginning of Advent this Sunday, I think it’s worth taking some time to explore the spirituality and meaning of Advent before we enter into the season’s graces and mysteries.
The word Advent comes from the Latin “Adventus” which means a coming or breaking in of something new–much as a plant begins to grow and break into the world through the soil. During the season of Advent, we enter into the rest and quietness of our mind and soul to wait for the coming of the light of God through the person of Jesus Christ. This is why we read passages found in Isaiah–written during a time of exile for the Jewish people, who were awaiting hope and new life.
In the time of a Pandemic, Advent is extremely important for all of us to return to our souls. This is a time for us to accept the darkness that we find ourselves in, and the darkness that we’ve been through in our lives; this is also a time for us to look for the light of Christ that is growing within us, and that has brought us out of our past darkness. Through meditation, fasting, service to others, and time spent with family and friends, we allow the light of Christ to grow and expand into our world as we slowly transform this world into the Kingdom of God.
So what do we do to celebrate the season of Advent? Advent is a time that invites us to really examine ourselves, and sift through our priorities to put our spiritual lives and principles back into it’s proper place. Where are we being loving, and where are we not? Where are we being selfish, and where are we giving too much? How can we be a conduit of God’s light in the world?
During this Advent, I invite you to rest, spend time with Christ, and to find stillness in God and his deep love for you.