Advent- my favourite time of year
We are now in Advent, a time of waiting, a time of building excitement, a time of anticipation. Traditionally a Christian time in preparation for the birth of Jesus as Christmas, Advent now means many different things to different people. I am going to focus on Advent as a time of preparation, a time of personal reflection and a beautiful chance to step back, allow voices to come to a whisper and feel what needs to be nurtured deep down inside of us.
I’ll begin with a little ritual that myself and my girlfriend have created. Each night we begin by holding a candle each, and reading a spiritual passage with a reflection. We then share one thing that we are looking forward to and then l finish by singing and playing on the ukulele our Advent Song.
Here is Verse 1:
We are waiting full of joy
We are waiting full of hope
We are bringing love in closer
To celebrate Christmas Day
Lights are a wonderful reminder of the glow and warmth of our souls. Gathering round a Christmas tree, watching fireworks explode into shards and twirls of flame and colour and driving past strangers houses illuminated at night all help us to feel a little warmer.
Reading someone’s interpretations of important events is also significant as it helps to promote thinking. Whether we agree with their views or not, it is helpful to have a starting point when delving into such deep topics as love, meaning, new life, family, joy and hope.
Music comes naturally to me and has accompanied me throughout all of my thirty years. I have played at both weddings and funerals, birthdays and charity functions and music lifts people. It brings us together. It allows us to be in solidarity with each other. This short small Advent song I wrote on the ukulele adds some bright, high sounds into the darkness of the night when we pray.
To me Advent is a time of deep personal reflection. In Week 1 I was quite ill with a virus, which helped me immensely. It drove me low, very low. And by feeling this lack of strength in my body, my spirit was allowed to come forward. I found myself appreciating small things more, taking more care with people and generally being more happy in small things such as enjoying a meal, being warm and not looking like a zombie! This was a great lesson in humility at the beginning of Advent.
Now, in Week 2, after having retreated ineards and focusing on myself, I am now looking outwards, towards helping others. My eyes and my senses are keen for opportunities to bring relief and kindness to others, and I am excited for the chances I will get to support and help those in need.
May your house be as warm
As the heat of your soul
May your eyes sparkle bright
Like lights out in the cold
And may our love for each other
Continue to grow