I love the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years…I haven’t caught on to Kwanza and Festivus). It is a time of the year when lights and color and sounds and smell take us away from the dreary gray days of winter.
It is also a time on the Christian Calendar when we start anew. The story of a baby, God, born to this earth in troubling times to bring a Kingdom of Peace, always brings hope. I know the skeptics mock the idea of a virgin birth, a baby of God, the connections with pagan rituals of bygone eras. I realize that the purity of the purpose is long gone. But I still enjoy it. Don’t mess with my Christmas tree. I like it. And I don’t think God minds the fact that we light candles in December on Christmas eve, even if Jesus was really born in April.
All that to say that today marks the beginning of the season. Today is the First Sunday of Advent. It is a time of preparation. It is a season to get ready…not for more toys, shopping, or decorations. It is time to prepare our hearts, our minds, our souls. It is a period when we ready ourselves for the coming of a King.
Advent is an opportunity to refocus our lives for what truly matters. And for that, I am very thankful.