Thought For The Week
'What are my hopes and goals for Advent? Where do I want to be on my faith journey, come Christmas Day? What is the point of Advent, if we don't end up somewhere different from where we started?' ~Triona Doherty
The Late Late Toy Show was quite simply a huge success last Friday on RTE. It will have been the most watched TV programme of 2021. It is always the first indicator that Christmas is fast approaching. We also began our journey through Advent at the weekend. The countdown to Christmas is well and truly on.
It's fair to say that the word Advent is not something you will see in a Christmas catalogue or written anywhere in the shops. Advent calendars are available in some shops but they are simply a countdown to Christmas with a piece of chocolate for each day. I have also come across an Advent Kindnes Calendar and you simply add in an act of kindness for each day between now and Christmas. I like the idea and it is filled with possibility.
Advent is a beautiful season and one that is often overlooked. The word Advent comes from the Latin 'Adventus', which can mean 'coming' or 'journey'. I prefer the word journey because Advent leads us on a particular journey. It need not be a spectacular one but it is a journey that priorities time for ourselves and gives us time to reflect what the message of Christmas can mean for us.
The scripture readings that are picked for Advent are filled with hope, light and positivity. The readings acknowledge that there is a lot of darkness in our world. Advent does not say that we will be living in a perfect world in a few weeks with no darkness.
In acknowledging the darkness, Advent allows us to see the light, to feel it and to know that we can journey forward in hope. There is still a lot of uncertainty on the journey of Covid. The message of Christmas light and hope becomes even more relevant.
Advent puts the brakes gently on, allowing us to slow down enough to reflect on where we need light, hope and God's blessings in our lives. The season can often be lost because of busyness. But one thing Covid has taught us is that busyness can come to a grinding halt very quickly. There is a bigger picture. We need to mind ourselves, our family and each other during these few weeks coming up to Christmas. The season of Advent makes a lot of sense to me.