An Advent and Christmas Awakening
No matter where I am in my journey, Advent provides me an opportunity to re-examine the life of Christ and why he came and how he loves me. Advent can hold both highs and lows. Each year at this time I have found myself reflecting on my journey and what I experienced throughout the year. It has always become an awakening moment.
This year as I began to create my Christmas theme for my home, I placed pine cones on a tin pie plate and put them in front of my fireplace and enjoyed watching them each day fully open from the heat. It was a wonderful reminder to me how embracing something so small can become so powerful… It was within this time that I began once again thinking about what the Advent season meant for me. I recognized how over the past year I felt at times like I was closing off from my inner spirit and how during those times there truly was a feeling of emptiness.
Advent is much like the Easter season; it seems to bring about a cleansing for the soul, a profound reflection of oneself. The anticipation of what is to come; the arising of the new dawn which is our beautiful Christmas morning; it brings once again our spirits to a new life in Christ.
During this past year I was truly blessed and honoured to have met many wonderful couples. My journey with them was like an Advent season. It was in preparation for what was yet to come. The moment of excitement and love that came on their wedding day. Much like Christmas!
There is another part of my pastoral work that has always had a very deep impact on me and that is meeting with a person who is palliative and journeying with them and their beloved families. This is also an Advent of sorts. It is the anticipation of what is to come. It is reflecting on how we prepare ourselves for meeting our God face to face; it is in the outcoming of what is about to take place. This is truly what I mean when I say it’s the highs and lows, it’s the anticipation of what is about to happen.
One thing that has become very real for me is remembering to be complex like the pine cone. Knowing at times I’ll feel all weathered out and that’s okay, because there will always be a beautiful Christmas morning ahead. And just like the pine cone, when I am renewed, I will always be open to truly embracing Christ and others.
May our Advent and Christmas seasons be full of reflection and blessings.
Best wishes to you and your families throughout this Christmas season.
Rev. Ann Marie Fitzgerald