I am sure, like me, you are feeling the frenetic pace of life as we come to the close of 2018. There is so much that we ‘think’ needs to be done, yet seemingly not enough time to do everything. What’s more, Christmas is just around the corner!
For those who live in South Australia the ‘Christmas Pageant’, held in early November, is symbolic of the extraordinary long lead up to and commercialism associated with Christmas.
Shortly we will begin Advent, the season of preparing for the coming of Christ and of celebrating His birth. I must confess that I usually do not put in place any planning for Advent, it just slips by. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Advent can be a season of giving and we can find ways to give generously, be it with our money or with our time. In expressing gratitude our hearts and spirits are kept light; this is good for us, not just for the recipients of our gifts. With a little creativity we can make a difference, whether that be through anonymously paying for someone else’s coffee, sharing special treats with others at morning tea or purchasing a ‘Gift of Grace’ through Australian Lutheran World Service.
There are various symbols associated with Advent. One of these is the wreath, which is large and circular in shape. The circle has no beginning or end, reminding us of God’s unending love for us. The wreath is often accompanied with five candles. The four outer candles represent Hope–Peace–Joy–Love; the central candle being the ‘Christ candle’.
We in turn can share the hope, peace, joy and unconditional love of Jesus this Advent with our family, friends and strangers.
So, as we prepare for Advent, most of all, lets declutter our schedules to enable us to enjoy the season. May we have opportunities to ponder on the majesty and mystery of the first Christmas, to laugh abundantly with family and friends, to rejoice over the generosity and creativity of our own children and the students in our learning communities and to cherish the opportunity of sharing with others about Christ’s birth.
Advent is a season of celebration that should uplift and nourish our souls, not drain them.
Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the Son of peace to you – Celtic Blessing