November 27, 2016

Invitation to a Holy Advent

As sure as Santa Claus directed the crowds into Macy’s at the end of the Thanksgiving Day parade, we can expect to be swept up into the rush of the “the holidays.”

On Ash Wednesday, we are invited, “to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word.” (BCP)

The invitation is just as real at Advent. Well, except for the fasting and self-denial. But let’s not simply surrender to the forces pulling us away from a holy observance. We are invited to journey with Joseph and Mary, considering their amazing calls to serve and how they responded in faith and obedience. We are invited to expect a great light and to find it lying in a manger.

From today onwards, let’s each RSVP in the affirmative to the invitation for a holy Advent. Resolve to make time for prayer, wonder, and contemplation. Invite your children to join you in lighting an Advent wreath at home. Seek new understanding through spiritual Advent resources available at Vital Practices or Forward Movement. Consider how you can bring the Light of Christ into the world of an aging neighbor, a grieving friend, or a Santa Claus ringing a bell.

The invitation of Advent is not about giving up merriment, but it does require intentionality to push back the crowds, catalogs and spiked eggnog. Create space for holiness and
reverent attention. Accept the invitation to light and love.