I don't like Advent for the same reason I don't like Lent.

I don't like the waiting.

Not because I'm impatient, necessarily (although I am). It's more because I find it rather depressing.

Emmanuel - God is With Us.

Growing up, we always put baby Jesus in the manger straight away, when the decorations went up the weekend after Thanksgiving, before Advent even began. He was the centre of the story. (Aside - my dad was, however, a stickler for the historicity of the wise men coming a few years later and therefore gently demanded that they remain outside the stable.)

We've been to four Christmas markets this year, each in a different city, and seen a creche/Nativity scene in each. Jesus is missing in each one of them. I know it's a big deal to place the symbolic baby in the scene on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day but it just seems weird without him.

He's with us, right?

Image by Jeff Carter via Flickr

This year is a different sort of Christmas observation for us in many ways. For the first time ever, I'm not with my parents and sister. Living abroad and having my own little family necessitates this, at least for this year.

Also, we haven't attended a traditional carol service or Christmas mass. Due to sickness/travel/work we only made it to one Quaker meeting, and that was last week. The Friends believe that the Inner Light (Holy Spirit) is always in us - there's no waiting for that presence to come, only listening and tuning in.


So I suppose I haven't been waiting this season. Just trying to take hold of that light, that presence. I'm trying to make sense of a lot of things, trying to live above them.

So I need Jesus to be here, not to be coming. Because he is, and he has.

God is with Us.

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