“What is Advent?”

I asked a preschooler, “What is Advent?” He said, “Santa likes snow at the North Pole. It is really cold there. When he gets ready for Christmas he needs to ‘add vents’ to his sled so he can stay warm. It takes a few weeks to do all that vent adding, but when it is done, it is Christmas.”

What is Advent to you?

What is Advent to you?

Advent is supposed to be a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. We prepare our hearts to receive hope, preparation, joy and love. It is often hard to prepare our hearts while so much commercialization happens around us. Things in stores can distract us. “To do” lists get longer and longer. There are so many good causes that are looking for resources and time. It can be quite an overwhelming time if we are not careful.

What we often need is a breath of fresh air in this busy season. Maybe we do need a new vent to blow on us and clear out the clutter in our lives, a vent that will provide us with warm, clean, unpolluted air. Imagine the summer when you sit on the beach and the warm winds blow at just the right speed and temperature. Imagine the calmness that you feel. Imagine the relaxing peace that a gentle breeze can bring.

Maybe, just maybe, we do need a new venting system each Advent season. We need a source to receive hope and preparation, joy and love. If we can just stay calm and let that Holy breath of fresh air wash over us, we may find the peace we are looking for. As for that Santa guy, maybe, just maybe he too also needs some new vents to blow fresh air on him as he prepares for Christmas. Maybe he is only able to do what he does because he has taken the time to add vents to his sled.

  •  What does Advent mean to you?
  • What areas in your life do you need to have a vent blown on you?
  • Do you have any issues you need to vent?
  • Will you take some time to be still and feel a warm breath wash over you?

“A human being is only breath and shadow.” Sophocles

“God is ever present. He’s in every breath, in every step. He’s here, always, always.”        Jill Scott

What does our school need for Christmas?

I asked a preschooler, “What does our school need for Christmas?” He replied, “I really want to ask Santa for a new faucet, but he really only has a toy shop. I think I will have to ask Mrs. Claus to go shopping.”

handsfaucet

On this last day before Christmas, there are many things we are getting ready for. We may be baking cookies, preparing food, assembling presents, wrapping presents, writing special Christmas cards, cleaning our homes and decorating that last area we forgot about. Many of us are wishing we had a Santa and a Mrs. Claus and a supply of elves to magically get all things done.

Maybe this is a Christmas where you can take time to not worry about every little thing. The big thing is the way you treat the people who will enter into your world. The Jesus that came for the first Christmas came into a stable with hay and no presents until he was a toddler. The king did not even have one gift on his birthday, no special foods prepared, no decorations on trees and houses, no playlists carefully structured, no cards made out and no gift receipts to keep track of. All that was present for that first Christmas was love in a human form. It was a love that was so great it could wash away all our sins with no faucet required.

  • What preparations did you do for this Christmas? 
  • Are the things you do all motivated with showing others love, or are some of them motivated by relieving guilt and not being judged?
  • Realizing that even Santa cannot do everything, what could you do to make this Christmas a time of bringing love in human form as your gift?

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” St. Augustine