Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent Musings

Well, here it is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The first Sunday of Advent. The beginning of the Christmas season. And, all that.

It's going to be a tough Advent around here. There's so much going on. My nephew is seriously ill. My son needs spinal surgery. School is still a constant source of depression- although that is not limited to Advent but will continue indefinitely. Overwork, exhaustion and the multiple stressors are taking my Fibromyalgia to heights not reached in more than 10 years. Life is not particularly "good" right now.

The good news is that I take Advent seriously. I don't like the fact that Advent has disappeared and Christmas runs from Thanksgiving (or before!) until December 26th. I totally do NOT like that people actually take Christmas stuff down on December 26th!!!! after spending what should be Advent celebrating Christmas.

I tried to cancel Thanksgiving here but the rest of the family overruled me. I was just totally not in the mood for being grateful or feeling blessed. Fortunately, Advent is here.

Theologically, they tell us that Easter is the most important Holy Day in the Christian calendar- the fulfillment of redemption through the Resurrection. For me, however, Christmas is the real miracle- that He came at all!

This is why I love the Advent season- a time to prepare for something REALLY special. We celebrate His birth as we would a great event in our lives- with lots of effort ahead of time and lots of partying when it happens.

My goals for this Advent season are to get myself into a proper frame of mind to really celebrate when Christmas comes. I need to recognize all the troubles in my life as things that I can deal with through hard work and prayer. I need to get beyond my own sadness, anger, grief, frustration and pain, and see the larger Miracle that is Christmas. I hope, with His help, to succeed.


Lee said...

To me, our Advent preparation is more meaningful than our Lenten preparation and here's why: Advent is way more challenging. There are so many distractions in our path as head toward Christmas. For instance, there's crazed gift buying, over-indulging in food and drink, and commercialism around every corner. We don't have those challenges during Lent! Some of us have to concentrate hard and rededicate ourselves to preparing our hearts several times each day. So to complete a meaningful Advent is really quite an accomplishment. And one that I certainly don't achieve every year!

Liz said...

I heard at JoAnns last week that there had been 6 phone calls looking for "Advent Wreaths" in the 3 hours before I got there that day... so *some* are thinking about it (of course the idiot answering the phone never thought to tell the callers that no, they didn't carry them, but they did carry the materials for them). And my dad *and* baby sis both mentioned the start of Advent while I was home this weekend... so there's some hope.

On the other hand, I suspect that part of it is that people tend to think of days rather than seasons more now. After all, few think of the time between planting and harvesting (if they think of even planting!)... or even between conception and birth, outside of humans or favorite animals being bred. There's this day... and then that day... and "living for the moment".

To be honest, as Christ isn't re-born every year, I can't appreciate the "countdown" that Advent is, personally. Christmas is more of a specific day that acts as a reminder to think of the event... but the miracle of his life on Earth should be something thought of throughout the year.

(Then again, the C&E Christians are one of those things that have always bugged me about church (especially when, when I was in HS, our church would be nearly empty for both services... yet more than overflowing (literally) for three services on Easter, and the extra services added for Christmas Eve and Christmas)... and that irritation with those attending (from other stuff too) is one of the reasons I nearly never actually attend services anymore...)

Suzanne said...

I am so sorry that your life still seems to at times be in a shambles...Don't give in and don't give up....remember that baby that was born in a manger under incredible odds...the baby that grew into manhood and through his life showed us how to live our lives....he showed us incredible love for all....and most of all remember he came that we may have life and have it abundantly, but first we must learn to trust the Father that sent him. We must learn to trust in his love and goodness even when we may not understand or see it. This is my testimony and I am reminding myself of it daily as I face new trials day by day. Like the little ditty we teach the kids at church.....God is good; All the time. All the time; God is good.
I pray that you will find some peace in your journey trough Advent and that Christmas will be a truly joyous time, even if it is celebrated through a few tears.