Advent is about anticipation. And preparation.
We take the dread we feel about how things are and the longing for how things could be, and we learn how to live day by day, breath by breath in light of the longing rather that the dread.
We learn how to break through the lock fear has on our hearts and minds and we learn how to lean into the hope of the presence of God.
We reflect on what it would be like to not be paralyzed by worry. We learn to act in love as an antidote to the paralysis, and so, sometimes, to drain the power of worry.
Sounds great. Until you write an Advent journal and then have to wait for it to be released for publication in paperback. What has taken a day or two in the past has taken at least six days.
And I find myself checking for the email that indicates either problems or permission. I check again. I work on other responsibilities, like funerals and conversations and leaf-raking, always wondering whether that email has come.
Hours turn into days, all shaped by an undercurrent of worry.
I need Advent.
What could I be doing? I could be working on my series of reflections on Paul’s response to worry:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
I got to what is true, what is noble, what is right and then stopped.
I could be reflecting more on the greatest commandment, as Jesus did in his last week, while he could have been worrying.
Instead, I’ve been spending time on hold. It’s possible that you have, too, in worry about this day in the US.
I laugh at the irony of waiting and worrying about a book on Advent. I am, I confess, a far from finished work of God.
For more about the Advent Journal, including a two week sample and links to the Kindle version, go to 2020Advent.com