Repeatedly people say that Advent is their favourite season, and I'm one of them! This week I assembled our home Advent Candle wreath and crafted some words and prayers for each Sunday; I set up the daily Advent Candle; I sorted out the Advent playlist on iTunes; and thought about some reading for the season. And I began to recall some of the great works of art, and poems, that are informed by Advent themes.
I came across this brilliant video clip on Godspace which entertains and informs - Advent in 2 Minutes.
And also these beautiful words from John Van De Laar.
‘Advent reminds us that there is a new world coming – always coming. It also teaches us that this new world does not remove the realities of the old world, at least not yet. Rather, the new world exists in the midst of the old one. The signs of suffering and trauma that we see every day are not an indication that God’s reign has failed, or that God is not coming, or even that we still need to wait for some future fulfilment when all will be set right. Rather, the suffering we experience in this world is an opportunity for us to encounter God and to help others to do the same. The struggles of this life are a call to embody now the grace and restoration of God, so that we become the manifestation of God’s motivation and the channel of God’s presence and activity for those around us.
'Our challenge, as we begin the Advent journey again this year, is to hold fast to faith and to live, as best we can, in the midst of the struggling world, the hope-filled life of Christ. Despair is not an option for us. Rather, as we celebrate God’s coming, hope becomes the fountain from which our joy, our love and our life of Christlikeness can flow.’