Advent is a time of birth and rebirth. We experience it again and again each year. And because of the time of the year, Advent is also a time of increased darkness. But if we know anything as Christians, it is that light is born out of darkness. Our time of waiting and anticipating love reborn is brought to light by the birth of Christ.
2020 has been an especially dark year. Events, language, and actions that would have been unimaginable only a year ago changed everything we expected to experience each day. But God, as love, is present even in the deepest darkness, and we are always on the cusp of being reborn into something greater, something equally unimaginable. Something God needs from us. It may not come as quickly as we would like, and like a baby being born in a lowly stable, we may not even recognize it when it arrives. But it will arrive, as Christ always arrives just when we need Him/Her most.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the challenges of this past year. Not for its difficulty, suffering, and great loss, but for reminding us that your world needs work and healing. We enter Advent with expectancy and a renewed hope, hope that we may soon be reborn into an image more like what you have in mind for us. Cleanse our hearts and minds this Advent and prepare a place for your Christ Child. Shape each of us into whatever it is that you need us to become. Amen.
Advent calendars and similar traditions can be helpful tools for faith formation at home. Here are some to help your family get Advent started.