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We often miss Advent’s power because these December weeks are full of Christmas parties and preparations for Christmas. Each year, the busyness of this season serves to distract us from having an Advent Tide that truly prepares us for the celebration of Christmas, with all its meaning.The thing about the Christian year is that it keeps coming around. Each year we relive the stories of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time. We get to dust off the liturgies and speak or sing them again. We get to try old prayers in new ways—or try new prayers upon old themes. We get to pick up our symbols and phrases and turn them slowly and look at them and listen to them repeatedly and allow their many layers and nuances to speak to us.

So, yes, it is Advent again. That is how it should be. We have a whole season ahead of us in which to rehearse and reenact the sacred story of how the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Hope is coming; love is coming, the Christ Child is coming into our world to visit us once more. A shining realm of peace and wholeness is born afresh among us.

We have four weeks in which to give our faith a workout, in which to exercise our hope muscles. Some years make that exercise more difficult than others do. Nevertheless, it is Advent now, and, as people of faith, we remember the child who became the source of our hope.

An Advent Prayer 

Loving God, this Advent, and give light to those who sit in darkness, guide us in the way of peace, and teach us to wait in hope for the coming of your son. Amen.