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November 3, 2011

OccupyAdvent: "Awareness."


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 your 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 us as believers. Advent is a reminder that Christ came and will come again. It's a message very familiar to believers, a reminder that something and someone is coming. 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 remember the baptismal vow, "Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy?" (Book of Common Prayer, 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.

This Advent Season, may you be aware of Christ’s coming and God’s ever-present reality. Wake up from your slumber and shed the distractions around you. Sit. Be still. Be aware of the coming of our Lord. Be aware that this world and its “stuff” are fading. Feel your breath, heighten your senses. May you not forget the reason for this season. May you remember that someone is coming. And just as you'd prepare your home for guests at your Christmas party; may you also prepare your hearts and minds for the coming Lord. Practice Advent.

May the peace of our Lord be with you!

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