Is Advent An Anachronism?

As the church season of Advent begins, many clergy sermons bemoan the difficulties inherent in trying to observe a solemn and holy Advent while we are immersed in the Christmas rush.

Even more of a problem is that people are more likely to be thinking of peace and joy instead of the Last Things traditionally discussed in Advent: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. Advent hymns on these themes just don’t compete with Christmas carols!

Yet the themes are not irrelevant to the world of today, where rogue nations and unpredictable leaders threaten massive conflict–where, as in Hawaii, nuclear warning systems are now in place and regularly tested.

All the more reason to worry less about how busy we are–and to think seriously about the serious questions of this and every season: Where are we going? What do we value? How will we be judged? —J. Douglas Ousley

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One Response to “Is Advent An Anachronism?”

  1. Mark says:

    I have to admit, I never thought of Advent as a solemn season– certainly not on the level of Lent or Holy Week– so it must mean I was not paying attention (wouldn’t be the first time). The weekly candle lightings that anticipate the Great Event; the Advent calendars of childhood (open a little door every day and a gift appears); and the beautiful Lessons and Carols services and cheerful parties have distracted me from an appreciation of its true meaning.

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