I remember how frustrating it would be in elementary school being expected to focus
on Advent when all we kids wanted was to focus on Christmas and all that entailed. But
every day we did the Advent calendar, practiced the carols, made angel crafts and
focused on being ready. As I grew up the traditions became part of the fabric of my life.
Add to that my father and siblings in various choirs or other Advent/Christmas giving
programs and Advent was everywhere in my world when all I wanted to think about
Years go by and suddenly Advent makes a lot more sense to me. It’s the time to take
stock of where I’m going and what I’m doing. Am I following the star I learned long ago
led to Jesus? It’s so easy to become sidetracked and end up on an unintended path.
Advent reminds me check my path and make it straight. Am I doing what it takes to
make a room in my life for God? There wasn’t a space for Jesus at the inn, so am I
making room for Him or shutting Him out again? Unfortunately, these days it’s all too
easy to harden my heart and want to close my ears to the cries of the poor or the
uncomfortable messages from the prophets. Advent tries to crack the shell I put around
my heart to try to protect myself from the world.
Every year I learn again how much I need Advent to check where my star is and how
much room I need make in my heart. This year and every year Advent makes me check
the fraying in the fabric of my life and offers me the grace to repair it. Every year I pray
for the wisdom, will and strength to accept that grace. May it be so for all.