Friday, December 3, 2010

Perspectives From the Field: Advent Or Excess?

We have entered the season of advent in the Church. This is the time of the Christian year when we wait with expectation for the coming of Christ. In one sense, during advent we should be nearly on the edge of our seats looking for our Savior. We are waiting with the entire world for Immanuel who will bring love and peace for evermore. His coming means our reconciliation with God. The Church says that this is how we should be spending those four weeks leading up to Christmas.

But the truth is that it is hard to experience advent this way, with all the distractions of the retail industry. They have already declared like that famous Charlie Brown Christmas song that “Christmastime is here!” And that means spend money! All the money you can. Between Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Macy’s all of our consumption needs can be met. There is no waiting involved here. No expectation and no anticipation. Get it now, this week while it is on sale. If we are not careful we will find ourselves bordering on living excessively and miss the true experience of advent.

How do we resolve this?

Simply put, spend some time with God. Turn off the TV. Get off the internet. Put your cell phone away. Spend some uninterrupted time with God. This is the only way we can experience advent. Pretend for just a minute that Christmastime is not here yet. In those few quiet moments each day, allow yourself to wait for the blessing of Christmas, when Christ truly comes to meet us at our point of need. And in your waiting there is peace, rest, and blessing. This advent, may you be strengthened in spirit and your faith deepened as you wait for the coming Lord.

by Arionne Williams
Minister to Youth and Families
Metropolitan AMEZ, Kansas City, MO
Deputy Chair youTheology Advisory Board
Loving God, Loving Neighbor

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