There are already only three Sundays of Advent left. This season seems to pass so quickly. But then again, if it was any longer it may not hold as much meaning. If, for instance, Advent began the second or third week of November, I may find myself complaining about how long it takes.
Thus, this is a season to be cherished; to be savored. The theme of preparation takes on a certain richness. I wouldn't say that preparation should have an urgent tone, though, as I think Advent is meant to invite reflection in contrast with the frantic atmosphere found in malls and shopping centers.
I preached yesterday on the idea of "pregnant pause," inspired by a post at this blog. I talked about how "pregnant pause" connotes expectation, and knowing that something is due to arrive. But we still need to wait and prepare in the meantime. Of course, the pregnant pause of Advent is the awaiting of a child, so the phrase is especially fitting. I also took a moment of personal privilege to acknowledge my five-year anniversary and to thank the congregation for all that I've learned and for all that we've done together so far.
Notice the blog is all bannerific again? I wanted to get all festive, and then keep it more personalized like that. I'm not sure I'm feeling this particular banner anymore, though.
I haven't worked through a devotional book for Advent for a year or two, so in preparation for this season I picked up a little book called The Uncluttered Heart. I've only read the first entry so far, but it seems like a decent enough spiritual companion to the season. I don't necessarily need anything groundbreaking when it comes to Advent devotions...I just need something to remind me of what I should be thinking about this time of year, even apart from church work.
I hope that your first week of Advent is shaping up to be a good one.