From my journal, slightly edited:
November 29, 2020 — Sonday (First Sunday of Advent)
Woke today realizing I’m grateful for Advent. I’m thankful, especially amid a pandemic that doesn’t want to end, for the sense of new beginning Advent holds as “traditional beginning of the liturgical church year,” and for the hope it promotes—real hope for a much better time.
On my walks I often pass a large window sign proclaiming, “A better world is possible.” I don’t know exactly what the people who posted it had in mind, or how they envisioned it coming about, but it always reminds me of the better world Jesus promised, to be initiated at His return—His Second Advent.
When I recite Zechariah’s prophesy, which I often do in what’s becoming for me almost a morning ritual (more on rituals sometime later), for Luke 1:78 I say, “the Dayspring from on high has visited us—and will visit us—to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death…” (etc.). I do this because different texts speak of His visitation in either past or future tense—and both are biblically valid.
Likewise, when I celebrate Advent, I like to look both back into the past, to reflect on and celebrate Christ’s first Advent, His incarnation, and forward to anticipate his Advent to come, when at last all things will be set right. And this, especially in this troubled time, gives double joy: gratitude and hope.
Do you observe Advent?
What meaning(s) does it have for you?