This season brings out the best and worst in humankind. Many people give more time and money to charitable causes, go out of their way to be kind to and help others and think of their relationship with God more frequently than at other times of the year. Many people, however, feel overwhelming sadness, loneliness and despair, often magnified by the season’s expectation of joy, community and abundance. Some people trample each other to get a good deal. Some focus on the material things they want rather than being grateful for what they have. Some feel frustration and anger due to the crowds in the stores and on the roads; due to the difficulty of finding just the right gifts for the people they want or feel obligated to buy for, or due to the pressure of creating a picture-perfect, continuously happy and joyful holiday experience for everyone they encounter.
Advent is a time to anticipate, wait and hope for the greatest gift: God's coming into the world and into our lives in a new way and the coming of His will being done on earth as it is in heaven. Before we remember and celebrate God's coming through his son Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago, we witness the world as it is and hope for God's will to be done on earth in our time. We hope to be alert, aware, prepared and a part of that coming and that creation.