Derived from Latin, Advent means “coming” in the Christian tradition, observed as a time of waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, as well as His expectant return. As the first season of the Christian church year, Advent includes four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Many traditions have been developed over the centuries that Advent has been observed, including the use of purple or blue as the liturgical color, the lighting of one Advent candle each week, and special seasonal music including Lessons and Carols, Handel’s “Messiah” Oratorio, and my favorite Advent hymn “O come, O come, Emmanuel”.
It is a busy time in our lives, both festive and frenetic. I know how quickly irritations can invade my interactions, and how easily I forget the underlying purpose of the season in myopic preparations. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German theologian who died at the hands of the Nazi regime, left this quote to remind me to honor and celebrate the world I live in as I await the one I hope for.