Sunday marked the beginning of Advent, and I must admit that a was a little crabby about it. I didn't take Pastor Lisa's message very well. Stop and listen? Limit my stress? But I am too busy for that! Ah, yes. My attitude is precisely why I need a little Advent- right this very minute.
In case you haven't heard much about Advent yet, this blogger posted an awesome picture of a liturgical calendar and explains the part Advent plays in the liturgical year. (For more on the liturgical year, go here.) Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year and it is a season of anticipation. We are waiting for Christ to make a quiet, unassuming entrance into our lives.
For those of us who have been Christians for a long time, this can feel a bit strange. "But Jesus came into my life ____ years ago!" we object. And during this season of crazy schedules, holiday parties, and shopping for gifts, it can be hard to remember to be stop and be quiet. We become aware Christ's presence in our lives in the quiet moments and the small, unexpected changes in our routine that make us think twice. Just as Mary noticed the small, unexpected changes of pregnancy in the quiet moments of life, we are witness Jesus' birth into our world and our lives all over again.
In reality, Jesus is coming into our lives every day. The Holy Spirit is constantly beckoning to stop and notice our attitude and our surroundings. Every time we catch ourselves being grumpy toward a family member or treating a favor as a hassle, we are being transformed into the likeness of Christ. Our old selves are constantly rediscovering Jesus and his work in our lives. That is precisely the point of Advent. In what ways have you noticed God's work in your life this year? How are you anticipating Jesus' coming in these four weeks of Advent?