Bishop Robert Morneau, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, WI, writes in his “Advent Daybreaks” for today,
Advent is a season of hope. We look to the future with a forward eye, aware that God’s coming is near.
As I studied cute ways to incorporate the Advent season into our household’s daily living this year, I began asking myself, “What am I preparing for? The birth of Christ? He’s already been born! How do I prepare for something that has already occurred?”
Asking myself these questions aloud one day, my four year old asked me, “What are you preparing for, Mommy?” Without thinking about it, I automatically responded, “Jesus’ Birthday.”
The more I contemplated Advent, the more I began to realize I am not supposed to be preparing for Christmas in the rudimentary sense of “Baby Jesus being born.” Instead, I am supposed to spend the four weeks prior to 25 December focusing on preparing my heart for Jesus to come … again!
As Matthew 24:36 states,
But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
The HarperCollins Study Bible – NRSV
All too often, with hectic holiday seasons, I have a tendency to forget to live intentionally – I forget to keep my eye on the “reason for the season,” and as Matthew 24:37-44 discusses, I don’t always keep in mind that the, “Son of Man will come at an unexpected hour.”
Tonight kicks off the lighting of the first candle of Advent – the candle which signifies hope.
For now, I will let my four year old celebrate in the way he understands – in the hope of blowing out extra candles, and in preparation of celebrating Jesus’ Birthday in four weeks’ time.
For me, tonight’s candle signifies hope – in the second coming of Christ.
The flame on tonight’s candle symbolizes hope that I maintain the proper perspective, and to live intentionally – during this season of Advent, and during every day of my life.
Lastly, the candle this week will burn in the hope that I am able to be able to confidently say, all the days of my life, “Jesus, I trust in You,” and to recite the prayerful words taught by angels at Fatima,
I’d love to hear your thoughts on living intentionally, and with hope, in the comments! For what do you hope? What steps are you taking to prepare your heart and home for Jesus this Advent season?