We are entering the season of Advent, a time of preparation. We prepare ourselves for Christmas – we shop for presents for our loved ones; we decorate our homes; we may prepare favorite or traditional Christmas cookies or candies. In my family, we always make peppernuts, a kind of gingerbread-flavored cookie smaller than an acorn. I grew up eating these, taking on the tradition of making them when I was an adult, and now our daughter looks forward to helping cut these tiny cookies with me.
But as our sense of excitement and anticipation builds throughout the month of December, it’s helpful to remember what else we are preparing for. We are preparing for that event which has already happened, and that we wait for excitedly every year – the birth of the Christ child. How can we prepare for something that has already happened? We can remember that Jesus’ life ushered in the kingdom of God, offering forgiveness of sins and life everlasting. We can remember that we are always being made new in Christ. Jesus is always calling us to be his hands and feet in the world, caring for the poor, the hungry, and the outcast among us. Advent is a time to re-learn how to see with new eyes and to look for signs of the inbreaking of the kingdom around us in the world.
Image courtesy of Clay Bitner https://www.flickr.com/photos/claybitner/15431681474/