HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The Christian year began yesterday with the First Sunday of Advent, and it began with a spirit of expectation. I really enjoy the Advent Season, because it is a fresh new start that is full of possibilities.
In the church there are decorations and symbols that we only get to see once a year. The music is at its best, and the preaching is very challenging to each heart and life. In the everyday world people are a bit kinder and gentler. There are more smiles than frowns, and a hand is offered more often than a finger.
We were taught, and probably taught our children, to make sure they were on their best behavior during these days, not for the coming of Christ but for the coming of Santa Claus. I always thought it was a bit late to start now, because Santa kept watch all year long. Now I think I understand a bit better; we have this fresh new start at the beginning of a new Christian year, and as we prepare for the coming of Christ we seek to live our best.
I never had a problem with Santa, and I still don't (a part of me still believes!), because I see him as an expression of the perfect love of Christ. Christ whose glory fills the skies and whose love is to every child (regardless of their age). Christ who gives the gift of new life, not simply on December 25 but everyday of this new year.
There is an expectation in the air this year as I hope that same love will flow from my heart, offering others a new life, a new chance, a new start, a new day. It can happen because I know it happens with Jesus Christ every day.
Happy Advent, my friends! Enjoy the journey to Bethlehem and be ready to celebrate the birth of Life this year. This is the year!