By Jeanne Cregan
Thursday, December 6, 2018
How can we embrace Advent?
I don’t know how many of you have social media accounts, but I am sure many of you do! I like Social media and how it has evolved. I love seeing people’s pictures and keeping up with friends from all over the world, but this time of year is a time when I need to step away from face book. Why you ask? Because its “Christmas Season” and my stream is full of people’s perfect Christmas trees and light displays, pictures of families going places to see Santa or the enchanted village, and kitchen counters full of freshly baked cookies and perfectly wrapped packages. It is really hard to think about being quiet, and preparing for the coming of Jesus on Christmas. Instead my Facebook feed sends me the message loud and clear: I am not doing enough and clearly my children are being slighted because they are not having enough Christmas experiences! No matter how committed I am to Advent, the messages are hard to ignore for me, never mind my children. I have learned these last few years, that it is possible to embrace the season of Advent, but it takes intentionality. This Advent there will be no personal social media for me. I am going to embrace my Advent, not how others spend the month of December!
The message of Christmas in our world has become to go more places, buy more things, bake more, decorate more and certainly be exhausted by December 25th. My home has an Advent Wreath, a Nativity Scene, and have birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas morning, but my teenage daughter insists that the Christmas Season lasts from Thanksgiving till December 25th. My message isn’t as strong as the message of the world. I will continue to fight that battle, and lead by example. How can I lead by example when I just admitted I have trouble ignoring the messages of the world too? How do we “DO Advent” with intentionality?
This Sunday we hear the famous words of John The Baptist, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths” John is calling us to repent and to prepare our hearts for the coming of our Savior, Jesus. So what does one who wants to celebrate Advent as a time of waiting and self-reflection do? When John calls us to repentance and to ready our hearts. What is he really saying? He is asking us to visit the question,
Who is Jesus in our Lives here and now? Do we know him or just know about Him? Do our lives look different because Jesus is our Savior?
One way I have found to ready my heart each Advent has been the Best Advent Ever by Dynamic Catholic. If you are not taking part in the Best Advent Ever, I strongly suggest it as a way to ready yourself for the coming of Jesus. I play the quick video each morning as I put on the tea kettle and my daughter makes her lunch. I hope the message will be absorbed even as she vocalizes that she isn’t listening. On day two the reflection was particularly good and when I watched it the first time it brought tears to my eyes. I encourage you to watch it here and subscribe if you like it:
The question asked of each of us is, Do we know Jesus? If we can’t say yes right now, what might we do this Advent to change that? John’s command to prepare is really to get to know Jesus better. My commitment this Advent is to stay off social media and live my Advent not someone else’s… and I think The Best Advent will help me? How will you get to know Jesus better this Advent, so you can welcome him anew on Christmas?
By Jeanne Cregan
By Jeanne Cregan
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