Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Reflection: #OccupyAdvent With Awareness

Looks like our conversation about using social media to re-infuse Advent with holiness touched quite a few participants. Here's a reflection from #ChSocM chat participant Mike Belmares (@Metromonk). Mike blogs at . . . MetroMonk!

Each morning, I drink my coffee and I still myself to read, write and pray. Each day brings its own anxieties and mind-filling "noise." My coffee is my time to quiet that "noise" and give to it God; to see life from a different perspective and awaken to a spiritual reality. 

Something is coming! Prepare yourselves! Prepare for Christmas!

Regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof, Americans get ready for Christmas. Way before most of us are ready, businesses quickly make us aware that Christmas is coming (and you better start saving up). I actually saw Christmas decor in one store before Halloween had even passed. While it caught me by surprise, it did it's job -- it made me aware that Christmas is coming. 

The Advent Season is that kind of reminder for believers, reminding us that Christ came and will come again. Wake up. Prepare. Be Alert. Remember. It's important to remember this always and everywhere, but the real danger -- the message behind the message -- is not to forget. 

Forgetting is the real danger. Keep your lamps burning; don't let them go out. The enemy, this holiday season -- not big business or consumerism -- is forgetting. Our fight is a spiritual one. Advent is a season of remembrance and awareness. 

"Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy?" (BCP, 302).  Advent is a time to put aside the systems of this world which can so easily distract us from and disillusion us about what really matters. May we be aware of Christ’s coming and God’s ever-present reality this Advent season.  

Wake up from slumber and shed distractions. Sit. Be still. Be aware of the coming of our Lord. Let this world and its “stuff” fade away. Feel the breath, heighten the senses. May we not forget the reason for this season. May we remember someone is coming. And just as we'd prepare our home for guests at a Christmas party; may we also prepare hearts and minds for the coming Lord. Practice Advent. 

May the peace of the Lord be with you!


Keith said...

Thanks for this nice reminder on how we are to approach Christmas and Advent. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the commercialism of Christmas even despite the fact that being a Christian goes against the worldly/commercial mind set that Christmas often brings.

MetroMonk said...

Thanks for sharing Keith. It's important to remember, too, the "in and not of the world" mindset that Christians should keep in mind. I agree with you that getting "wrapped" up (excuse the pun) in Christmas is easy to do. That's why we, in that I mean the Chsocm community, have decided to OccupyAdvent with blogs and micro-blogging to help fellow Christians keep focus on the right & good stuff of this holiday season.

Patty "Wilson" P said...

At our home, we do not have anything even remotely X-mas like until pick candle Sunday.

I can't stand going out of the house and being bombarded by all the X-mas music, decorations, etc. I feel absolutely homicidal by Dec. 15!

MetroMonk said...

Thanks for your thoughts Patty, that's funny. I totally understand what you mean. Xmas decor before Thanksgiving used to bother really me. For some odd reason, this year, I have somehow just decided to go with it. What really kicks it all off for me, oddly, is the red cups that Starbucks gives out. When the red cups come, I know there's no turning back. However in the midst of all the Xmas clutter, which in itself can be distracting, and bring myself again to the place where I can celebrate and be joyful for what this time of year really means.