Advent begins softly, slips in beneath th pace of shoppers and holiday  preparations.  It arrives gently with the reminder of a God who is trustworthy, and it arrives warmly with the tenderness of a single flame on the Advent wreath.

Advent is the beginning, the inception of a new year, the reminder of  human origins.  There is the sweetness of waiting, a testimony to the gestation period we all share.  There is the anxiety of anticipation, that mix of hope and fear.  And these are the emotions, the experiences, that we all share.  And there is the magic of story, the narrative of history unique to each of us and common to all of us.

If allowed, Advent offers so very much.  It requires, in the midst of frantic holiday frenzy, moments of attentive quiet.  It demands remembering the old story in order to see the new story, and it is a reminder to old and young that there is so very much to welcoming new beginnings no matter who you are or what is happening.

Advent is the promise of roots and wonder of trust.  Advent is the glimpse of the future and the invitation to embrace the past. Most of all, Advent is NOW.  It is here, and we are part of it.  Advent makes Christmas possible, and so each of us becomes part of that possibility.

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