Advent, a preparatory time of waiting and watching, communicates the message of hope, assisted by the color of the sky, BLUE. Our Christian faith rests on the hope that Christ, who came in history assuming our flesh, will also return on the last day of time from that same blue sky he ascended into long ago.
During Advent we are urged to slow down, wait, and look past ourselves. We do this by taking our time (four Sundays and weekdays) getting to the manger. We do this by staging our journey to Christmas in steps — Advent greens, an Advent wreath, Christmas trees, a Christmas manger scene, and then “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night.” We do this by keeping Christmas long after the trees are put outside and the decorations packed away — a full twelve days that stretch out what we have waited so long to celebrate. It’s important to realize that when we over-schedule church activities, we mirror the busyness of the world in a bad way. Sometimes there are so many things going on at Church that it seems literally like a roller coaster ride to Christmas. Advent should be slower and much more deliberate. During this season, we do not compete with the harried schedules of the world around us by matching them event for event. No, we compete by offering what no one can find except in the Church — the Gospel of the Incarnate Lord Jesus Christ! Most importantly, we celebrate Advent by listening to the Word of the Lord, and by hearing that Word with the ears of faith, and by the joyful acknowledgment that the Christ of the manger has come among us to deliver the fulfillment of His promised gift of forgiveness, life and salvation.