Written by Alex Woods:

Advent: A Time of Preparation

“Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, of longing,” so explains William Bradshaw on the nature of Advent. Unfortunately, this description fails to describe my Advent and Christmas seasons of the past; the craziness that accompanies the end of the semester (papers, exams, etc.) occupied all my concerns. Such distractions often led to a lackluster Christmas: gifts were opened and, just like that, Christmas was over. This shortness always left me convicted: shouldn’t Christmas have a bigger role in my life?

This year, though, I am trying my hardest to take notice of Christmas, and this starts with Advent. As Bradshaw mentioned above, expectation, anticipation, longing, and preparation accompany Advent. Christmas requires our preparation, because, if not, we might miss the God who lies in the manger on the edge of town. As such, I’m trying hard to remind myself that Advent is here, and Christmas is coming. This includes listening to Christmas music and reflecting daily on the miracle of Christmas: that God truly is with us and really does love us. At a time when many capitalize and profit from our insecurities (“The happiness you lack can be had if you buy this”), take time each day to remind yourself of the truth of Christmas: you lack nothing because God has given everything. In the midst of this busy time, take time each day to prepare for and appreciate the coming of this day that shows the enormity of God’s love.