1 the arrival of a notable person or thing: the advent of television.
2 (Advent) the first season of the Church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.
Old English, from Latin adventus ‘arrival’, from advenire, from ad- ‘to’ + venire ‘come’.
Advent has arrived. Of course, there is a certain irony to think of a period that looks forward as something that is here now. But thoughts like that seem particularly poignant this year. Every month, or week, or moment, I have thought we have got somewhere, arrived, only to realise that things have not improved or changed.
Things are different.
Primarily because of the pandemic and partly due to my laziness, I haven’t got an advent candle this year. It’s the first time in several years I don’t have one. I have found great comfort in the moments spent meditating and contemplating ‘stuff’ each day as one number at a time melted away. I don’t need a numbered candle for that but every symbol helps and is a gentle reminder that there is more out there than my own personal bubble of fears, worries and concerns.
The pandemic has disrupted things. It has disrupted routines. It has disrupted structure and function and forms of living. Whether any of the things it has disrupted could be called normal is debatable, but what is certain is that our regular has been disrupted.
Back to my lack of a candle: disruption to my regular. It is easy to focus on the negative of this disruption. To focus on what I don’t have and what I can’t have. The challenge is to look forward.
- To focus on the horizon
- To the way ahead
- To the vision of what will be and what is to come
- To know that what I do now is paving my path ahead, strengthening the tunnel through all of this
I don’t have a candle. You may not have a candle, or struggle to find any light, but it is there. We can all hold on to a little hope, a little faith, a little miracle. Despite all that the virus and 2020 si throwing at us, there is hope and there is light. The tunnel may be of indeterminate length but it will have an end and as we travel along the light will brighten. This is Advent.
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