Happy New Year! Did you know that there’s a “Christian Calendar”? It’s a tradition that dates
back centuries, and the first day of the calendar is the first day of Advent. Advent is a season
characterized by waiting and hope. It’s the season that precedes the Christmas Season. In 2020,
Advent begins on November 29th and ends on the first day of Christmas. Christmas, of course as
always, begins on December 25th and ends on January 6th.
Our modern culture tends to elongate the Christmas season into Advent, and then cut it short
on the 26th and go back to normal. This year however, more-so than any year I’ve been alive, I
think there is such strength to Advent.
What are you waiting for? What are you hoping for? Is it an end the uncertainty and anxiety
that the Pandemic has brought? Are there more personal, more individual things happening or
about to happen for which a season of waiting and hope is especially appropriate?
Of course, for Christians like me, Advent is a season of waiting for the birth of Jesus. We don’t
know when Jesus was born, but everyone should have a birthday. So, we celebrate Jesus’ on
the 25th every single year.
What are your Christmas traditions? Do they include an intentional advent? Might that be
important this year? How might watching, waiting, and hoping be a spirit-filled part of your
next six weeks?
I am hopeful, even in this season. I am hopeful for what God still has in store for us even in the
midst of this season. I am hopeful for what God has next after this challenging time has passed.
Like a woman who told me she wanted to be buried with a fork! “You always keep your fork
after you clean your plate”, she told me. “In case there’s dessert.”
Rev. John Hampton
Hermann / Rosebud United Methodist Churches.