My twitter-friend @OneFineJay had the following to say this morning:“I love it when people understand the whole point of Advent as the season of anticipation, where the celebration happens AT Christmas itself.”
I retweeted him, because I agreed. Really, the joy of Christmas comes from the birth of the Savior. At Christmas itself. All of the lead-up is anticipation because, fortunately, we know what is coming and we know that is a good thing – a very good thing indeed. But the season of Advent is really all about the anticipation. I think that perhaps we – yes, I’m obviously including myself – may tend to simply forget how lovely it is to anticipate.
Let’s get real, shall we? We’re often anticipating the worst. I came to this conclusion today when my brain started firing “you’re going to graduate in less than six months and you have to take all those tests and you have to student teach and prove you can do this thing for a living and then you have to find a job that will pay the bills enough to sustain living on your own because you’re going to have to relocate and start all over again somewhere new where you might not know anyone” and I decided anticipation can be AWFUL. I mean, just look at that. There isn’t a whole lot of fun in that mess. Or excitement – who gets excited over exams and moving?
But then I thought about it some more after I calmed the heck down and thought about the possibility for good. Like meeting new people. Finding a new parish – you can always rely on the Catholic community to be “built in friends” if you’re not so good at the making friends business. Possibly getting paid to do a job that I have a passion for. (!!!) I mean, that is some seriously good stuff to anticipate, right? RIGHT.
So here’s the thing. You have approximately 5 days left to Advent Anticipate. And we know that GOOD things come about. There’s no reason to do the panic-induced-chaos-anticipation. There’s only a reason to joyfully wait for that which brings us great joy! You have five (or six, depending) days to ready your self for the overwhelming celebration of the birth of the Christ child. Look at what you have to look forward to hearing proclaimed!
For a child is born to us, a son is given us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:5)
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2: 8-14)