My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The Peace of the Lord be with you!
For the Western Church, today, the first Sunday in Advent begins a new Christian or liturgical year. What is Advent? Advent means ‘coming’ and is derived from the Latin word “advenire” – ‘to come to’, or ‘to arrive’. Advent is often compared to Lent although Lent is a more somber season while Advent is a time of joy. Yet, both seasons prepare us for full experiences of joy that come through repentance so that nothing would block us from the joy of the festivals of the Nativity (Christmas) and the Resurrection (Easter).
Advent comes with its own history and spiritual disciplines such as repentance, hoping, and sharing. Advent also brings with it certain traditions, customs, and festivities. Among such is the ‘food and eating’. Muriel Tarr Kurtz in her, “Prepare Our Hearts – Advent and Christmas Traditions for Families”, tells us that one of the early practices of Advent was fasting for long periods. However, she does note that in her American culture, ‘food and eating is the most important activity from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day’. In our culture I believe we can concur.
The main theme of Advent is preparation for the coming of Christ. As we observe Advent this year, how do we, as individuals and as a family, plan to be more conscious of Christ’s coming in our “food and eating”? How do we become more aware of “what good things to eat and what good things to avoid”? Is this a good time to have discussions about eating habits?
Have a memorable and healthy Advent in Jesus!
Your pastor and friend,
Mark S. Christmas