24 Days of Blogging Day 3: Come thou Fount of Every Blessing

Today is the First Sunday of Advent, and within the Christian Calendar this marks the beginning of the anticipation of the celebration of Christmas.  By the lay of the calendar this Advent falls as late as it possibly can.  In fact, the Fourth Sunday of Advent falls on Christmas Eve, a once on seven year occurrence that confuses parishioners, exhausts celebrants and singers, and gums up church parking lots.

To most, the opening statement about beginning anticipation of the celebration of Christmas is laughable.  Every media and commercial vehicle has been in full scale celebration mode for over a month.  I went to a Christmas party last night, and I noted in a store yesterday that Christmas decorations are starting to be discounted, a sign that fewer and fewer “oddballs” have yet to decorate…It’s December 3!

This post, however, is not going to be a tirade over consumer culture commercializing and hastening Christmas.  We feel what we feel when we feel it, and in this world of so much anxiety and pain, it is wrong to turn our back to the peace and generosity of the season whenever it is felt.  Telling people to temper their celebration doesn’t increase joy at the proper time, it just lays guilt on top of natural feelings and tells us to embrace the unnatural.  I enjoy the Christmas tree, decorations and songs in the days after Christmas, but I am lying if I say that I don’t enjoy them much more in the days before.

So what do we make of Advent, a time of waiting designed to parallel the centuries waiting by humankind for the Savior?  Three aspects of Advent can actually enhance and improve the celebrations we enjoy whether they be religious or secular.  The first is recognition of the incompleteness of our world and our need for the hand of God to bring peace and justice.  We celebrate in joy tempered by knowledge.  The second is the recognition that we are accountable for our time, and our lives have meaning primarily for the impact we have on the world and the lives of others.  Most importantly is the recognition that we should live and work not in despair but in hope (sounds like a good title for a web page).

So put up your tree, play the songs, celebrate with friends, remember those in need, but enhance these joys with the purpose and hope that we also celebrate in this season.

As always I welcome your comments.

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Date: Monday, 4. December 2017 0:03
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1 Comment

  1. 1

    Best post yet! Thank you for sharing!!

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