A Note on an Expanded Advent
Advent is not a count-down to Christmas. Nor is it a mini-Lent. Advent is its very own season in the Church Year. Advent is a subversive and counter-cultural conspiracy by the followers of Jesus to focus on the Reign of God/Kingdom of Heaven. Here, as its citizens, we engage ever more deeply in Christ’s mission of peace, justice, and the integrity of creation. While this stands in opposition to the global Christmas culture, Advent also elevates our spiritual understanding of the life of Christ, from Bethlehem to Calvary and beyond. Starting Advent in November would, at least, give the primary focus of the season a chance before we are all overcome by carols in Mall music. The second reason for an expanded season has to do with setting before us in our worship, rooted in Scripture, an alternative and more authentic and positive vision of the “end times” or the “reign of God” than those otherwise offered in fundamentalist versions. We at Church of the Holy Spirit quite rightly plumb the depths and riches of grace, mercy, justice, and wisdom during this season of mystery.