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Hope and anticipation despite shortened Advent season

Dear Bethanians,

OK it’s a cliché, but as I turn the calendar to December, “I don’t know where the month went.” It may be a product of age, as every year seems to me to pass more quickly. It may be an effect of the weather, when our typically wettest month felt more like an extended summer. It may be November was so packed with activities and a spirit of thanksgiving that a joyful pace sped things up.

However that happened, here in December, marking a new month, but also liturgically welcoming the new church year, the advent of Advent. While December, and the four Sundays of Advent, always fly by (Cold December Flies Away,” ELW #299), this year it poses an even greater risk for the fourth Sunday of Advent is the day before Christmas Eve. This portends a short Advent, an abbreviated season of waiting, but also of preparation.

Let us mark this season with hope and anticipation and not the rush and bustle imposed on us by a truncated calendar and commercial hype. Let us all an extra dose of intentionality and attention lest we lose sight of where Advent went. Prayer – good idea. Winter walks – think of Mary and Joseph on their journey. Time spent in relationship – remember the biblical examples of letters, unexpected visitations, and faithful gift giving.

To assist in your Advent life, Advent calendars are available at Bethany for you and for friends and neighbors. Mark these holy days, this precious journey, with calendars that taste of chocolate, and another variety that tells the Advent message in the words of the ELCA Hunger Program. Create an Advent log, and find a moment each day to light the candles and to pray “Come, Lord Jesus, Be our Guest.”

Let us this Advent be aware of where the month goes, and how Jesus comes.

Posted by Pastor Paul Stumme-Diers with