Advent is Here

Posted on December 1, 2020.

Thanksgiving is over; Advent is here; desperate merchants are once again clamoring for your dollars. It must be Christmas. In a year in which very little has been normal, familiar and comfortable, the clamor of the holidays reminds us that some things never change. This year, nevertheless, will be different,. While those who have something to sell want us to feel the need to come up with gifts for those near and dear to us, the facts look likely to not include near to us. We can only hope that Christmas 2020 will be a time of somehow sharing love if not hugs.
Celebrating traditional holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, in times like this pandemic, has caused many to fret about the details of how to celebrate rather than dwelling on the reason for celebrating. Details such as making sure you have your mask on or at least available, social distancing and disinfecting rob us of the time that we could have spent on sharing pleasantries in the supermarket line or in the doctor’s office waiting room, in the classroom or just when encountering an old friend on the street. Instead of being laid back as we go about our business, we feel a certain air of suspicion from those we encounter – is your mask on properly? Am I far enough away from you? Are you going to try to hug me? Could you be carrying that dread disease? Well, in sum, we can’t wait for the virus to disappear from this world.
With the arrival of the Advent season, as Christians, it is always a joy to get into the Bible and read the old, old story told to us by Luke. We’re always amazed, as is true in much of the Scriptures, how many details can be gleaned from so few sentences. Although the Manger Scene is replicated by many cultures and in many ways, it always seems to consist of the same visual story. The manger with the newborn Babe, the shepherds, Mary and Joseph, a star – all as reported in Luke on that special night. Although the Wise Men probably arrived much later than that wondrous night, their presence is a part of the story, further corroborating that this is the prophesied King.
Gifts, decorations, concerts, parties, special foods – all are a part of the secular celebrations. Just imagine how much is missed if we don’t also recognize that on that night we experienced God with Us. God, coming to us, the ones He had created in His own image, to show us that we do not have to be weak and lost. We don’t have to sink before Satan. We can believe, be forgiven and find ourselves as Us with God.
Have a blessed Christmas. Virginia
“And the angel … said unto [Mary], The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35