Advent is “the coming of a notable person or thing.” It is the expectation of something spectacular, and spectacularly the world is transformed. Lights, lights, and more lights mark the expectation. Quiet suburban streets are transfigured into something resembling a Tokyo business district, a world of incandescent glory.
But what is the great expectation for? Is Black Friday a term packed with more meaning than first meets the eye? Is it a season bereft of any spirit other than hype?
Yet, in our churches, the very place where the true “Light of the World” is proclaimed, a ring of four simple candles, one lit anew each week marks the coming of “a notable person,” one whose arrival was first marked by a single star.
The Advent season is now here. This time of preparation and anticipation of the coming of Emmanuel is one of contemplation and focus on the spiritual rather than the material. We so often get caught up in the X-mas hype, that we loose focus on the Christ.