I can't remember a time in my life when things were so unsettled in our nation. This goes way beyond elections result to wider society. Division and rancor are on the rise. Public attacks on vulnerable people are increasing. Fear of terrorism continues. I could go on, but I don't have to. You see the headlines and the stream of worrying posts on social media too, I'm sure.
What was it like in the Holy Land some 2,000 years ago, I wonder? People were under the yoke of the Roman occupation. The rich and the poor were divided by a great chasm, and attacks on religious minorities were common. The people longed for a time of righteousness and justice. That first Advent--awaiting the Christ child and redeemer of the world--must have been something.
In my entire life, I've never looked forward to Advent more than this year. I can't wait for the season of quiet hope. I long for time to pray and to work for justice and peace. I look forward to my daily prayers with scriptures that promise grace and mercy. I want to be reminded about God's promise of the kingdom of God, when the lowly will be lifted up and the mighty cast down.
Maybe you're also looking forward to Advent. Forward Movement has a whole host of resources to help you savor this season of hope and repentance. Christine McSpadden has written a wonderful little book of meditations, What Are You Waiting For? We publish an Advent calendar--in both English and Spanish--that you and your family can color in to mark the season, and this year we have an app. If you're an iPhone user, check out Journey through Advent 2016, which offers the daily Gospel reading, a calendar you can color in, and a place to take notes. There are plenty more resources too.
Whatever you do, I invite you to prepare now for Advent. I guess that makes this an advent season for Advent Season. Decide what you will do to savor this time and to prepare your heart to worship Jesus Christ who dwelt among us.