Chaplain’s Corner: CLXIII

“The Season of Advent”

Advent is the “season” on the church calendar that annually encompasses four Sundays before Christmas. This year that would be December 3, 10, 17 and Christmas Eve.

Advent derives from the Latin word adventum which means “coming.” Every year followers of Jesus are encouraged to ponder the meaning of Jesus’ coming into the world at Bethlehem.

This is incredibly challenging when you think about it. That’s because Christmas has a lot of baggage associated with it. Black Friday shopping mayhem, Cyber Monday, colored lights, fruitcake, Elf on the Shelf, Hallmark Channel holiday movies, Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing The Little Drummer Boy, and a Lexus with a big red bow sitting in the driveway.

But what does all that have to do with Advent? Not very much.

Advent doesn’t have an advertising team working to come up with catchy slogans or characters. It isn’t brash or noisy. Its greatest asset, in fact is its silence. During Advent we quietly ponder the imponderable; that for our sakes God chose to become a human being.

That, in fact, is a simple and effective way to experience a different kind of Christmas this year. Each day this Advent season, stop for five minutes. Do nothing. Just be. If you’re reading the Gospels between now and the end of the year, you might make this part of your time alone with God. Gently and quietly, ask the Lord to remind you of who He is and what He has done.

By God’s grace we can let the quietness of each reflection drive some of December’s non-stop frenzy out of our lives.

And I would remind all of our residents to plan on joining us for a Christmas Eve Service at 7pm in the Legacy Commons Event Hall. Invite your family and friends to join you.

In the meantime, may this Advent season prepare you for the coming of Christmas!

Ron Naylor, Chaplain