Believe it or not it’s that time of year
again. This is the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year and we begin anew
next Sunday with the season of Advent. It is a season of watching and
waiting. We must be ready for we do not know when Jesus will return in
glory; Awake, O sleeper, arise from sleep!
Next Sunday, too, the familiarity of Advent
will be apparent in the environment of the church. Shades of purple
signify the coming of royalty; it is Jesus, the King of kings and Prince
of Peace, who comes. The four Advent candles help us mark the weeks
before his arrival. Three purple and one pink: the pink candle on the
third week for rejoicing that the Holy One is in our midst! The
evergreen branches remind us of longevity: always green, always leafy,
evergreens symbolize the eternal nature of God’s love.
Along with Advent feelings of anticipation
and joy come the adverse effects the pressures of preparing for
Christmas bring. The sheer terror that we may not be able to accomplish
all the things that need to be done before Christmas comes!
Let’s be counter-cultural this Advent by
focusing on the reason for the season: we are remembering the coming of
Jesus into our lives. Rejoice and be glad! (November 23, 2003)