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Get Ready, Get Set....Wait!

Advent is a time of preparation but what are we getting ready for? It seems to me that the holidays we celebrate have become extremely consumer oriented filled with advertisements encouraging us to spend money and eat more. The Advent we celebrate in the Church is completely different. We wait for the coming of the Lord.

Christmas Vision

The way we vision Advent determines our approach to Christmas. Is it the trip to the Christmas Market, the winter cruise you are planning or the journey to Bethlehem? Are you even ready for Christmas? Maybe you say “Christmas can’t come yet, I don’t have all my shopping done!” No matter how you view Advent, Christmas will come whether we are ready or not. Jesus will come whether we’re ready or not. Advent invites us to examine our present life, look toward the future and the coming of Christ. Maybe it isn’t something you want to hear as you plan your holidays and do your shopping, but Advent is about waiting, planning, and preparing – anticipating – the coming of our Savior! Christmas is about celebrating – celebrating the Incarnation – God – who came to dwell in the flesh of a human, to live, walk, laugh and to cry, to suffer – with us – all of mankind.

God with us

One of my very favorite Christmas songs is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” It is a wonderful song for Advent and an important Christmas word for us during this time. Emmanuel means “God with us.” Maybe your outlook on life at the moment is not very bright. Instead of hopeful anticipation you have fear and anxiety. No matter how you feel, Christmas will come, whether you are ready or not. And that’s what’s so amazing. God comes into our lives when we least expect it. We can’t predict it but we can prepare for it. We can anticipate it.

Homework

I invite you to spend this time on a journey to Bethlehem. God sends the Messiah to come to life in our lives. Emmanuel doesn’t mean God HAS BEEN with us. It isn’t God WILL BE with us. It means God WITH US. Right here, right now. Are you ready?

Fr. Urs