Seasonal Reflection:  Advent, 2017

Reflecting on PeacePresent. It’s a word that holds a prominent place in the season of Advent. After all, most of us spend much of our Advent time running around deciding what presents to buy, for whom, shopping, wrapping, and getting them to each recipient.

But that’s not the only present that pertains to Advent, and it’s not the one to focus on here. Present has other meanings as well, as you know. It’s a time period, and it’s a state of being.

To some degree, Advent calls us to live in the present time, a time for sharpening our senses to be awake and alert. It’s hard to do that when we’re racing around fussing over gifts and cards, decorations and baking. Advent is a time for patience, for waiting for the birthday of our Savior, the Prince of Peace. It’s a time to get our priorities straight, to be attentive to “the reason for the season.”

Present as a state of being offers yet another meaning. In Advent, we are invited to be present—to God; to one another; to the world around us—the air, the earth, the weather, all the sights and sounds and touch of nature. And it invites us to be present to what’s happening in our world, what’s happening to our world, to be alert and responsive to the conflicts, the human suffering, the environmental abuse, the many ways we do not honor the One we are supposed to be celebrating—and the ways we do.

This Advent—and beyond—let us experience present in all its dimensions, but let’s be sure to remember which one is dearest to our faith and to our God.


Prayer: for Advent


Help me, dear Jesus.  Let me feel your loving arms wrap me tightly in the warm embrace of your endless love. Teach me to make choices about my time, to remember what is important this season and to say "NO" whenever my Yes would take me away from your peace.  Fill me with patience, love and a sense of humor. Remind me of your deep love for me and let the fire of that love be something I can share with everyone around me. Help me to be present to you and to them as I await your coming on Christmas. Amen.

excerpted and adapted from “Praying Through Exhaustion”

Suggested Actions

  • - As you purchase your Christmas gifts, consider how you might gift someone with your presence, not only your presents. Then, make time just to be with that person with or without a material package.

    - Take time each Advent day, if at all possible, to sit with God, to listen, to reflect, to read an Advent scripture passage, and to say a prayer.

    - Be present to “the signs of the times,” the impact of policies and practices that contradict this holy season. Speak out and stand with those who need our presence, whether immigrants and refugees, the sick or elderly, the hungry or homeless, the ravaged earth.

Reflection Archives

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