These early days of December are marked by the beginning of our journey through Advent. It’s not a word you will find in many shopping catalogues. How many of us get excited about Advent and yet it is a season full of meaning and symbolism?
The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin “Adventus”, a name which means coming or arrival. The prayers of Advent touch on each person walking in some darkness and also awaiting and anticipating a great light. It is a time for us to hear those quiet whispers in our lives of a God gently calling us from darkness into light. Advent is a reminder of how we need this light more than ever in our own lives.
Life certainly moves fast and particularly in the run in to Christmas. Time appears to be going faster and everything takes on an air of urgency. Waiting for many of us may not be our greatest forte and we go directly to celebrating Christmas without getting in touch with that part of ourselves that is reflective, trusting and hoping.
Joseph, the husband of Mary can only wait with her, loving and supporting her and their unborn child, but unable to accelerate the process. Unless we step aside from all of this and reflect on this great event and its relevance to us, take time to see where we fit into the bigger picture, we have failed ourselves.
The season of Advent is an opportunity to step aside. The sheer speed of life today can literally choke and block out those beautiful, simple and ordinary moments that no money can buy. Advent gives us the chance to appreciate that we are indeed on a privileged journey.