Here I go again - Advent

One thing we Baptists (as a corporate church body) do not do well is prepare. I know that this is probably something I need to undertake myself (if I only had the discipline to do it), but I really miss the Advent season that I grew up with as I attended the Catholic church. The four weeks that preceded Christmas were unbelievably meaningful to me, and to my family I suppose, and they were an effective vehicle for me to prepare for the day of Christ's first fleshly appearance on this humble ground.

I appreciated the colors the sanctuary was decked out in...the mystery (to me anyway) why we lit the pink candle in the advent wreath on the third week rather than the fourth...the evergreen that symbolized life in the midst of the death of winter...the anticipation that it all produced in me for Christmas day. I could almost taste the desire for that day.

It all put me in touch with the longing that the Jews had for their Deliverer. Even though Christ was a disappointment to the vast majority of them who saw the Romans more than their sin as the oppressors his first Advent was eagerly anticipated by those he sought.

Christmas (and Easter for that matter) never caught me by surprise like it has since I became a Baptist. Like I said there probably is some character flaw in me that makes this the way it is. But then again, maybe there is a godly desire in me that longs for the collective experience of longing that I had with my church family. I would rather like to think that it is the latter.


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