What is Advent?
It's the season of expectation and preparation as we get ready to celebrate the joy of Christ's coming. During Advent we collectively hold our breath in anticipation of God coming to earth - it's a time to be alert and watchful.
Advent services tend to be reflective. There's something mysterious and sacred that we experience as we put aside some of the commercial aspects of preparing for Christmas - the hustle and bustle - and turn to the quiet and stillness of watching and waiting.
It's also a challenging time: Advent readings direct us to think about the reality of the divine and how we are readying ourselves to meet God. We read in 1 Corinthians 4:5
"When the Lord comes, he will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness, and will disclose the purposes of the heart."
So what needs to be done now? What do I need to focus on to be ready for this loving disclosure?
Often Christians will read a book to aid their Advent preparation. The Diocese of St Albans has an Advent Challenge which is another great way to reflect and contemplate during this time.
Advent and Christmas services at St Mary's can be found here.