The snow and cold temperatures this week made it apparent to me that Christmas is coming and coming soon! In fact, this coming weekend will be the first of four Sundays in Advent, the period before Christmas celebrated by many Christians around the world for the past 1,500 years. Our Grade 4 students led us this morning during chapel on the next part of our study of the Fruit of the Spirit, patience. This was appropriate as Advent (which comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming”) is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the coming of Jesus as we also await and prepare for his second coming.
Advent has always been a special time for me but also a difficult one as it’s not easy to wait and prepare for Christmas without becoming quickly ensnared in the trappings of what Christmas has become- the consumerism, materialism, and a “feel good” holiday. I’ve heard from many students over the past week that to prepare for Christmas their families have already set up the Christmas tree, begun buying presents, attended a Santa Claus parade and have planned family gatherings and dinners. These are all great things, of course, but are we also spending time and seeking out ways to get ready to celebrate “the real reason for the season?”