The Big Day is coming!  Christmas will be here before you know it.  For fans of the Hallmark Chanel, it started in October.  Even setting that aside, now that the calendar has turned to December, the days do indeed seem to pass more quickly.  There’s so much to do and so little time to accomplish it.  Even for those who truly love this time of year, anticipation can be overcome by anxiety.  And there is no small number of us who, for so many different reasons, find this a melancholy season.  No matter where you find yourself on the spectrum between “holly, jolly” and “melancholy,” Advent was made just for you!  This is so much more than a time of spiritual preparation for Christmas.  Let’s be honest with ourselves.  Celebrating Christmas involves both spiritual and material preparation.  So Advent is not about setting the one off against the other, nor is about how or where or with whom we choose to celebrate.  Perhaps the central element of Advent can best be described as a simple, annual reminder to adjust our expectations.  Shouldn’t we look forward to celebrating the birth of the Christ Child, along with all of the other wonderful things that have attached themselves to the Christmas season?  Certainly!  But the scriptures of early Advent also remind us to look forward to the final and definitive revelation of the “Son of Man” at the end of time…which could be at ANY time.   We also read about crooked ways made straight, mountains laid low and valleys filled in, prepare a highway for the Lord.   Read carefully.  It is God who builds the road that leads to the time, as well as the place, of meeting.  We are invited to travel that highway where we can expect to meet The Incarnate God today, tomorrow or any day, not just on December 25, or the day we die, or at the end of time.  Advent asks us to begin each day anticipating that today is the day we will meet the Lord…in the people and in the places so unexpected or so familiar that we must actively look for him. 


                                                                                                    Deacon Greg