Don’t Miss the Reason for the Season!

As winter approaches, the darkness begins descending by 3:30 pm. Whether we love or hate this time of year, we can’t miss the symbolism of Advent — the four-week season of preparation for Christmas, which begins this Sunday.

I never tire of hearing the hope-filled message that the light of Christ has come, is present among us now, and will be revealed in its fullness when God’s transformed future finally arrives. As the saying goes, “Jesus is the reason for the season!”

The prominent displays of darkness in the world and in our lives are depressing to behold, but Advent proclaims more powerful words: “Don’t give in! Believe in the light! Welcome the light! Allow the light to penetrate more deeply into your soul than ever before!”

Perhaps the greatest cause of discouragement and despair in our lives is the belief that things will never improve. Beginning this Sunday, we’ll begin a four-week exploration to disprove this belief.

Advent doesn’t offer us easy answers or quick-fix solutions. It takes us back to the roots of the Christian faith and invites us to ground ourselves anew in the love, hope, peace, and joy of Jesus Christ. Through this process, we are challenged to let go of our cynicism and begin to trust in God’s power to work miracles in impossible situations.

As we get better at letting go and trusting, we discover spiritual resources we didn’t realize were available to us. We find strength greater than our own, and we see ways to open doors that we previously thought were closed.

We need the voices of the prophets and angels of Advent more than ever this year. They speak to us through the scriptures, carols, and anthems of this glorious season. May we open our ears and our hearts to their inspiring messages, beginning this Sunday!

Believing that the best is yet to be,

Evan Howard