Reflections by Jerry Webber

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Advent's Slow Crawl

This past Sunday was the First Sunday of Advent.

The season of Advent is intended for preparation, waiting, and expectancy, beginning four Sundays before Christmas. Advent themes of hope, love, peace, and joy are intended to prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus. In Advent truly conceived, that birth is not a faraway event represented by a calendar date, but rather a birth that takes place continually within human hearts as we make room for the coming of Christ within us.

For me, though, the season of Advent begins as more of a slow crawl. I don't get a running start, or even a rolling start into Advent. In the United States, the first days of Advent fall on the heels of Thanksgiving, travel, Black Friday, and gatherings with family and friends.

Advent crawls out of the blocks. I have to make myself speak the words and sing the songs. I'm grateful for the season, the colors, the candles, the readings, just not quite ready for it.

But Advent doesn't inquire about my readiness, nor does it particularly care whether or not I'm prepared for the season. It doesn't mind that I'm road-weary from travel or overloaded with tryptophan or that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have stuffed my inbox with two email ads for every one I can delete.

Advent comes, ready or not. It comes . . . to announce a coming.

Christ has come . . . Christ is coming . . . Christ will come.

Christ comes always, continuously, in every time. Christ comes everywhere, relentlessly, in every place, welcoming or not.

This is my slow crawl into Advent. I don't feel bad about it -- though years ago I did -- but rather just accept it for what it is. I'll come around. I'll get there eventually.

Give me a bit . . . I'll catch up to you.

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