The four weeks of Advent are almost over. Advent anticipates Christmas, but is not Christmas.


English: Advent wreath, First Advent Sunday

Advent wreath, First Advent Sunday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Despite that some Churches will start singing Christmas carols right away. Decorated for the season they’ll jump right into Bethlehem before going through the desert with John the Baptizer. Gratification delayed goes contrary to our culture of “me-now”.

For example, engagement used to be dating. Now it’s living together. Young people go deeply in debt for a home, starting where their parents reached only after years of hard work. Sex doesn’t wait for our life partner. Instead we have “recreational sex”, just fun without emotional intimacy. We demand answers to prayer now rather than in divine time.

Advent should serve as a time to consider the effort God took preparing creation for the coming of Messiah. People could exert time and effort into personal reflection on how our thoughts and behaviour correspond to the gift God gives.

Actually, the tinsel and sparkle and music and activity of this season divert from reflecting on the deep issues people have. Sometimes the shallow “merry” evokes real misery. In the quiet of your own soul do you find feelings and memories that cause pain rather than “joy to the world”?

One at a time name them. Write them down. Ask a friend to work with you to dump the garbage  that makes you feel “down in the dumps”. Or meditate on your own, allowing the Spirit to free you. Or visit a counsellor. But deal with it. Get happy.

Strange that people often have a career plan or a salary goal. But where’s your plan for joy and feeling good about life?



Advent (Photo credit: kathleen_jowitt)


Spiritually speaking, people have become so accustomed to carrying bad baggage they forget Jesus came to bring abundant life through redemption (John 10:10).

Experience the true spirit of this season: love, joy, peace and hope. There is no better time to feel good about life and yourself than now. That would be a “me-now” that would be good for you. It would make others around you jolly, too.

So get ready for Christmas and your future life. Let the past pass. What a present a pleasant present would be.