The key to a successful Christmas lies in the patient waiting and making useful preparations. Easier said than done!! The placement of Christmas Day, being on 25 December, is of course based on a northern hemisphere timeframe. The notion of Advent, a quiet time of reflection, penance and preparation for the coming of Light of the World in Jesus Christ, amidst the natural winter darkness of a northern hemisphere, is somewhat easier than having quiet preparations in the middle of the excitement of an Australian summer – of beaches, international cricket, barbies and blowflies!!
Asking a young child to relax and patiently wait for the delights of gift giving, food and visual delights of flashing trees, is a tall ask. Likewise for adults, the excitement of Christmas parties and catching up with friends and family, fills us with a natural thrill.
Yet we are asked in Advent to wait patiently for the coming of Christ this Christmas. Before anything of substance in our lives, there needs to be a necessary time of gestation and waiting. Be it in: human or animal life; crops or flowers; courtship before commitment; or developing thoughts and ideas. There needs to be a sensible period of waiting to ensure the natural development of life, relationships and concepts can take place. Let’s now prepare and wait comrades. For a feast is much better after a fast!!