Can you believe that in two days we'll be halfway through Advent? Gaudete Sunday: pink candle on the advent wreath, rose vestments for those who have them, concerts and pageants in many congregations. Time to rejoice!
Rejoice in the nearness of Christ's coming, yes, but also in the many gifts of the pregnant waiting time when the world (in the northern hemisphere, at least) spins ever deeper into sweet, fertile darkness.
What makes you rejoice about:
Knowing it will end...I am not a patient person! But there is a kind of pleasing anticipation to the season that gives us time to reflect both on Christ's coming as an infant, and his coming again. Plue, there's plenty of time to make Christmas cookies!
Knowing it will end...I'm sensing a theme here! I have never been one to feel darkness as a safe place. Perhaps what makes me rejoice most in the darkness is the light: ambient light from the stars and streetlights at night, the candles in the sanctuary on Christmas Eve...
Snow! I love cooler weather. Here on the Crystal Coast, we rarely get snow in any amount, but I love wearing sweaters and blue jeans, curling up in my chair with a book, a blanket, and the dog, flannel sheets on the bed and a great heavy comforter.
See #1, in part. Advent is the season in which I make myself (and whomever else I can influense in Bibly study groups, through preaching, etc) slow down...really think about what we're about. Giving gifts is great fun, and a long-standing family tradition. But there's more to this time than shopping, or even my beloved baking. As Christians, it behooves us (I love to use that word!) to think about what Christ's coming means for us, then and again.
5. Jesus' coming?
Bring it on, I'm ready.
I hear a lot of end-times theology, and I don't agree with a conventional definition of "soon". Truth be told, I don't much worry about it; either I'll go and be with God, or Jesus will come get me. I tend to think of "soon" as a relative term: is it our time or geologic time or what?