Seven days until Christmas Eve. How are you feeling? I am excited and a little bit scared.
I am excited because, well, Jesus is coming, and anticipation of his arrival seems to bring a sparkly dusting of wonder in the air. In holiday specials and Christmas commercials and on the radio, people are wondering: Could there be peace on earth? Could love be birthed in every heart? Could there really be cause for hope?
Jesus thought so even though he was fatally scarred by this world’s brokenness. Two thousand years later and our world is still in desperate need of healing. But the glimmers of Christ’s Kingdom that is experienced in the hope, peace, joy, and love we choose to share with others is a tangible reminder that the revolution is still happening because people are still choosing to dream of something better. That’s exciting.
The scary part is acting on it. If I choose to be a part of Christ’s revolution, how might that change me? I am afraid of the labour pains. I am afraid of the comforts that I may need to give up in the name of love, justice, and peace. Truthfully, I am afraid of change, but the world needs transformation in order to be healed. Even though I don’t like change, I ask for it each day when I pray “for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It’s exciting and scary to imagine what that change, God’s will, might actually look like.
How are you feeling? And how will you mark this final countdown? If you started the season off with our Advent calendar or Advent poster and have fallen out of the habit, why not try another? Many people use the O Antiphons (based on seven scriptural names for Jesus) during these last days of Advent. After all, a great way to prepare for a guest is to get to know them better. I love our Watching and Waiting Daily Vigil by Andrew O’Neil that is based on a modernized version of the O Antiphons.
However you decide to mark these last days of Advent, I hope you will find messengers along the way who will remind you of the angel’s words: “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10). And I hope you will find opportunities to marvel at the shimmering everyday signs around us that a revolution is coming.
Waiting with you,
—Alydia Smith is Program Coordinator—Worship, Music, and Spirituality at the General Council