I love Advent.
I have never kept this a secret! I have always loved Advent. It is the sense of anticipation, the themes of hope, the focus on prayerful waiting, and so much more besides.
Sometimes I fear that the distinctive themes of Advent are in danger of being squeezed out, not only by the insistent commercial pressures of which we all know. For even in the church there can be, during Advent, a sense that Christmas has already arrived. All through December Christmas carol services intrude into the Advent preparations. And – yes – to me it can feel like an intrusion!
I know that this season allows us to connect with many in our communities who may rarely otherwise come around the church. I welcome this opportunity and do not at all resent it.
For me the question is much more one of how we – as a Christian community – hold onto the great Advent themes of hope and preparation in our worship and prayer.
So I am eager that we seek ways to meaningfully observe this wonderful season. How much more wonderful our celebrations of the Season of Incarnation will be if we first enter into the prayerful preparation represented by this Advent Season.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!