Advent is a time for waiting and reflection. It is also a time when we are filled with hope. Hope can be defined as our ability to desire, to anticipate, to expect with confidence. During Advent our desire, our anticipation, and our expectations should be focused on the coming of the Christ Child into our lives at Christmas. But too often the messages that we hear at this time of year present a different definition of hope.
- We are encouraged to hope for the best presents.
- We are expected to host the best parties and celebrations.
- We are told that we need the best clothing.
- We are pressured to display the best decorations.
Underlying all of these messages is the expectation that we should hope for more power, more status, more money, and more possessions. The messages are often so subtle that we sometimes find ourselves getting caught up in the Christmas frenzy without even realizing it.
But there is a better way and we want to help you get started. You can begin by promising yourself that you will take a few minutes every day during Advent to reflect on the real meaning of hope.
Check out Reasons for Hope: Meditations for the Advent Season by Bishop Robert J. Baker.
The meditations offer insights that will prepare you for the coming of the Christ Child on Christmas Day. They include Scripture passages, quotes from saints, guidance from spiritual leaders, prayers, and questions for reflection.
It will only take a few minutes of your time every day from now until Christmas. It just might be the best present that you give yourself this year!