I remember as a child getting Advent calendars from my grandmother. You probably know what I am talking about, the calendars with a winter scene or Santa Claus on them with tiny perforated doors revealing a piece of chocolate each day as we get closer to Christmas. Increasing the anticipation of a child knowing that there is a larger chocolate on Christmas Eve. After eating a chocolate from one last year I realized just how not so ‘fine’ those chocolates were. Perhaps they should use a more refined chocolate for adults.
But don’t count out the Advent calendar for adults just yet…
There are calendars that have Legos, or coffee, or tea. There is this calendar that I would find amusing, it has a different bourbon behind each Advent door counting down to what would be a rather interesting Christmas Eve sermon if I were to partake in this anticipatory treat.
The Advent calendar can trace its history back to the mid 1800’s and has Protestant roots. It is also said that the days leading up to Christmas - which would eventually become the Advent we know - saw monks fasting in preparation for the great Christmas feast. Fasting an entire month! Now that small not so ‘fine’ chocolate sounds pretty good if that is your treat for fasting each day. Yet, the idea of a month long fast in anticipation of a great big feast does get at this idea of anticipatory feeling of the season.
Advent is supposed to be a time to not just wait for the Christ child to be born once again in the manger...but to wait in constant hope for the day that the Lord will come...like a thief in the night according to last week’s Gospel...and make all things new. In the meantime, as we wait and hope, we have a lot of work to do.
Advent reminds us that our work is never done. We have the hungry to feed...the cold to clothe...the downhearted to cheer. We have the ability to be the people the prophets speak of and act in the way in which Christ shows. God’s peace and the justice of Christ are part of the themes we find in our readings on Sundays. There are other things along the way to help. There are Advent devotionals available almost anywhere you look. We have the Advent midweek services to help us center our souls and minds...and to come together and enjoy each other's company. (Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm)
Now I would not deny a wonderful bourbon filled Advent calendar, but I would much rather anticipate the coming year filled with a little more of God’s peace and Christ’s justice...a year filled with the hope of a people that truly believe that the power of God’s love can be realized.
Yours in Christ,