The season of Advent is drawing closer and I just don’t feel ready. Oh, I have the candles for the Advent wreath, I have the basic outline of our days written from previous years and I even have a new book of advent reflections for Dan and I to read together. My heart’s not ready though; it feels tumultuous. I can’t look beyond the disorganized and half finished state of every corner of our home to create a simple, peaceful yet celebratory glow. The varied levels of grief and burden in my own heart, life and the world around are hindering my hopeful anticipation of the Good and Love of Advent.
I sat snuggling my Kathleen Claire while she nursed her way to daylight dreams, thinking about my chaotic frame of mind and feeling that I couldn't approach the coming weeks this way. I was turning over in my mind how to achieve the sense of peace that Advent speaks to me. And it hit me, this is the reason for our practice of Advent. It’s not to create a pretty, glowing illusion of peace that lasts for a few weeks and then is forgotten. Advent sees Christ coming in the midst of chaos, in the midst of deep mess and pain. I mean, really, he was born in a stinky stable because of the whim of some ruler who wanted everyone to be counted in the town that they were born. So he could TAX them more! The Christ child was hunted from the beginning by a crazy king whose jealousy and self-love were out of control to the point that he couldn’t handle the birth of a baby who he feared might take his place. Indeed, the world at his advent, his coming, was messy, ugly, and chaotic. And yet, in the midst of that was beauty, delight and celebration. Because Christ came!
I'm finding myself wondering, where did I get the idea that my family could only reflect and anticipate Christ come if we were surrounded by beauty, order and serenity? Why does it seem that I have to work through this each year? So here I am, amidst chaos and fears, as well as the beautiful, seeking to welcome all the glory of Christ, of Advent.
What are some of your thoughts as we move into the season of Advent?