For much of our world, the Advent season has fallen to the wayside. It’s a difficult time for everyone. For college students it’s the final push as we return from Thanksgiving Break just in time to prepare for finals, close out the semester, and get it all together just in time to head home for Christmas.
Personally, I have the tendency of putting the being intentional part of Advent off amidst the chaos, telling myself that I will prepare myself spiritually for Christmas once the break begins. As I reflect on this I recognize that putting it off tends to make it disappear from my journey completely. If I am going to truly prepare myself, I need a season set apart for that preparation. Though it tends to be an underappreciated season, we are given the Advent season deliberately. It exists because we as busy people need to set it apart in order to really appreciate the upcoming Christmas Season.
I think the perfect example for embracing the Advent Season is Jesus’ mother, Mary. As Mary prepared for the birth of Jesus I imagine she experienced the full range of emotions. She may have many times wished for the waiting months of pregnancy to be over, but she waited and prepared. Questions surely flooded her heart in preparation for the promise of the coming Son of God. I imagine Mary active in her preparation, preparing herself for the coming of the Christ, keeping that approaching day in mind with every action of every day.
Each of us is called to be bearers of Christ in our own way, so we too are called to prepare ourselves like Mary did. To bear Christ within us we need to reflect, slow our hearts, minds, and schedules enough to let Jesus be present within us in a very real way. Like an expectant mother and her child we are called do all that we do with Jesus at the forefront.
Advent isn’t just the time before Christmas; it is the time in which we are called to wait for Christ’s return like Mary as an expectant mother. Devoted to Jesus, captivated by God, and continually preparing ourselves for the fullness of God to be in our midst.
This advent season I challenge you to await the coming of Jesus like Mary, especially amidst all that fills your day. Take a few moments each day to let God fill you, let God call you, and let God prepare the way in you.
Adam Dirnberger is the Campus Ministry SERVE Intern.