The Advent Season is upon us! We are eagerly awaiting Christmas and the celebration of Jesus' birth and anticipating His triumphant Second Coming. This is the time of waiting and preparing. Modern society has forgotten that the Christmas season and celebrating doesn't start until Christmas Eve/Day. This can partly be blamed on the Protestant Reformation, when the radical Puritans tried to do away with many Christian holy days and seasons. For a time one could get in serious trouble for making plum pudding! Luckily the Catholic church and some Reformation churches (like Anglican) preserved the season of Advent. Some stricter/more conservative Christians actually treat this time as a little Lent with fasting.
I wonder if a lot of the depression at this time of year is caused by the over-secularization/hype that has become Advent/Christmas. If people took the time to prepare and look inside themselves, instead of being swept up in the consumer mindset, would they be happier? Christmas isn't just one day and then disappointment and let down. It starts now with Advent and doesn't end until Epiphany -the Twelve Days of Christmas. It's time society started to slow down and enjoy the seasons and cycles of the earth. The Christmas season isn't just a time to 'get through', it's a time to be enjoyed and savoured.
This Sunday I get out my Advent wreath and we light the first candle. When I was a child at church the Advent candles were all purple (except for the Christ candle), now churches use 3 purple and a rose. At home we have beeswax. I prefer natural candles and just love the smell of beeswax.
Today we light the first candle. The Candle of Prophecy/Hope.