The great church season of Advent has arrived. It always makes me happy. I've prepared a meager little Advent "wreath" in my prayer corner with stuff I found around the house. I think I need to find a few more things, but the light is most important, and that has been established!
Advent is one of the most wonderful seasons in our church. The expectant waiting, hope, joy, preparations--all are pregnant with God's love for us, just as we celebrate Mary's pregnancy, bringing the Christ Child into the world.
I've been thinking about how I will teach Advent this week, to both eighth and tenth graders. Such fun! I found a book that reflects on Advent and Christmas music, and I think I will be using that. (It's called O Come Emmanuel: A Musical Tour of Daily Readings for Advent and Christmas by Gordon Giles.) It gives me a reason to listen to Advent music a bit today.
What I really want my students to begin to see is the mystery that God comes into our lives in ways we never foresee or truly understand. I want them to remember for a few minutes that preparing for Christmas is not about shopping, but about receiving and giving love--the love of God, and the love of the people who are part of our lives.