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Advent to Christmas Reflections

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Dec. 13, 2011

Written by:  Kelsey Rogers
Troy University

Advent to Christmas Reflections…...

It is the season of Advent, my favorite season of the year- even though it is one of the most forgotten. Everyone seems to be concentrating on Christmas. Advent is the season of preparation for the coming of Christ. Christmas marks the time when Jesus first came into the world. In order to fully understand the wonderful mystery of Christmas, we must prepare for it. This is why we have Advent. It is also important to remember that Jesus did not stay a baby forever- he grew up, died for our sins, and therefore, gave us a chance to have eternal life with God.

Each week of Advent is dedicated to a particular element to this preparation for Christmas. During the first week of Advent, we celebrate the preparation of hope. This is something that as a college student here at Troy University, I find especially helpful. Not only do we hope to pass our classes and finals, but we hope to do well in life. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” This is something that not just college students can reflect on- it is a verse we can pray on throughout our life.

God does not want bad things to happen to us. If we ask for his assistance, he will provide and perhaps in a better way than we originally wanted. We need to place our hope in Christ- not in other things. These things cannot redeem us. Let us not grow hopeless; let us be filled with hope because we have an opportunity to be in Heaven.

During the second week of Advent, we meditate on peace. John 20:21 says: “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” God the Father sent his son so that we may have eternal life with him. He sends us to show him to others. God gives us not only the peace, but the strength, knowledge, and will to do so. At this point in our lives, many of us are discerning our vocations. One way to know that we are doing God’s will is that when we have peace about a decision or we have peace in a certain place, God wants that.

During the third week of Advent, we prepare ourselves for the joyful event of Christ’s humble birth. In the second chapter of Luke, verses 10-12, we read, “And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, Which shall be to all people. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, Lying in a manger.” Rejoice! Jesus is born (well, almost)! Let us share this joy with others, even when we don’t feel like it. Offer it up for a seminarian or a member of your family who is going through a difficult time. We should be excited! We have another chance to do better, all thanks to that tiny baby in Bethlehem.

Finally, in the last week of Advent, we prepare for love. Not only is God love, according to Saint John, but love is a choice. 1 John 4: 10-11 says, “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Let us remember this love that God shows us so that we may show it to others. Remember, when you show love to someone, you are showing them God, giving him or her a chance to let his or her relationship grow with our Lord.

Let us pray…....

Father-God, we thank you for everything that you give to us. Help us to prepare for the celebration of your holy Son’s birth at Christmas and to welcome him into our lives during the entire year. Guide us to remember to have hope, peace, joy, and love and to show it to others. As the lights of our Christmas trees shine, may our lights shine for you, God, to others. We ask this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.