Advent is my favorite Church season. It is a time where we wait, where we long, where we yearn for Christ to be born again. The days are getting shorter, the darkness is literally growing around us, and we wait for the Light of the world to begin with the flicker of a candle flame. Throughout Advent, we meditate and reflect on our need for a Messiah, our need for Christ to come a second time as he came the first. This work, and sometimes it can be work to block out the growth of secular Christmas what with its emphasis on getting, getting, and getting some more, prepares us for the Christmas Season to come when the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love of the world was born and reflects our lives as we wait for Christ again.
Both my boss Dave and my fiance Hannah joke that sometimes my affinity for Advent sometimes takes an even darker turn. Sometimes, my Advent turns into “Sadvent” (Read about how “Sadvent” got started here.) They claim I become too occupied with the sadness, brokenness, and pain of the world and I kill their Christmas cheer.
An example: I prefer not to sing the traditional Christmas Carols like “Joy to the World” or “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” I’ve been called a grinch because if I had it my way, we would only listen to Christmas Carols
beginning Christmas morning (I’ve also been called a church snob too, but it is what it is) I argue they hijack the season where we are supposed to think of WHY those carols are so joyful and happy in the first place. They are happy, cheerful, and jubilant because Jesus came into a situation of hopelessness, joylessness, non-peace, and where love was absent. Pretty sad stuff.
Now, I don’t want to be too much of a Grinch. As much as I love to contemplate the existential questions in life about meaning and suffering, I have a resurrection faith. We as Christians (and I include myself in this) are an Easter people. Advent is a way to prepare, it is not a place to continuously be. We are not to trench ourselves in this season in a sort of masochistic way.
Christ did come. Christ will come. We can always be joyful for that.
Thanks be to God.