Advent and Spiritual Preparations

At the beginning of December, I gave a sermon talking about how the period of Advent is, in a religious sense, considered to be a time for spiritually preparing for Christmas. Whether Christian or not, if you celebrate Christmas, this might be a helpful thing for you this year.

We have our hopes for 2021, including a new presidential administration and the blessed covid-19 vaccine. But there will be other things, too, on the horizon. The Texas Lege comes back into session in January, and being in the Austin area, many of us will probably have issues we need to speak to as they debate bills. As our country transitions to a post-Trump, post-Covid world, we’ll have questions about the values that we want our country to reflect. And we will have big work to do, to try to make sense of this pandemic time.

Christmas brings a promise of hope, as we are reminded yet again of how we value family, friends, and generosity. If you are willing to do some spiritual preparation, I highly recommend listening to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s sermon “A Christmas Sermon on Peace” from 1967. (You can also read it here, but I really recommend listening to it, if that’s an option for you.) In it, he talks about interdependence and love, in the face of huge obstacles.

“This Christmas season finds us a rather bewildered human race. We have neither peace within nor peace without. Everywhere paralyzing fears harrow people by day and haunt them by night…”