30 November 2010

o christmas tree: the beginning of advent

Before I went to bed last night, I sat on my couch and stared in wonder at the Christmas tree. What is it about a little bit of light that fills us all with such wonder this time of year?

There is, of course, the theological way to interpret that: what is it about the promise of the light of Christ, the long-expected Jesus, that makes many of us pause in wonder, in hopeful expectation, in gratefulness this time of year?

I didn't grow up in a liturgical church {it was Pentecostal, which may be the farthest from a liturgical church you can get}. I'm a bit late, then, to this whole idea of Advent and of using the Advent season to make room in your heart for Jesus.

I like it, though.

Advent is, to me, the fun cousin of Lent. Both of them are about quieting yourself before God, about turning over your desires to him, about daily sitting in his presence.

Both encourage you to focus less on yourself and more on Christ.

However, because in Advent we're looking forward to Christ's birth, there's more of a celebratory feel to it. You get to make room in your heart and eat sugar cookies.


I have two other ways to interpret the wonder of this time of year, but I'm saving those up for the next two days. I bet you have a lot of things going on right now, here just before the calendar flips to December, so I'll let you get back to those.

Me, I'm going to turn on my Christmas tree lights and sit in wonder for a few more minutes.


  1. I've always been thankful that there's no particular fast associated with Advent. It would be cruel to ask us to fast when there's gingerbread.

  2. I was at an advent small group last night, and I learned that in the Orthodox church, they do fast.

    Thank heavens we're not Orthodox, eh?

    {No offense meant to the Orthodox -- I just don't think I'd do so well fasting this time of year, either. I'm happy to slow down my life and be deliberate in turning toward Christ. But yeah, I need the gingerbread men.}



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