As I was driving with my kids the other night, we were paying attention to the increasing number of Christmas lights in our neighbourhood. There were noticeably more than a couple of nights before, and it reminded our family of Jesus’ proclamation that He is the Light of the World. As I look ahead to the Advent season, I’m reminded that it is “the season that teaches us to wait for what is beyond the obvious. It trains us to see what is behind the apparent. Advent makes us look for God in all those places we have, until now, ignored.”
What’s obvious right now?
Growing numbers of COVID cases.
Family members who are living outside the Atlantic bubble.
Mental health crises.
The list could go on…
And yet, there’s something about this pandemic that is forcing us to take stock and evaluate priorities. Collectively, we are waiting for an end. Recent news of continued successes toward a vaccine release encourages us that there could be light at the end of the tunnel. As Prime Minister Trudeau stated, “People just need to hang on. It’s not forever, it’s only for a few more months.” We just need to wait. We need to remind ourselves to look for God.
And so we come to this season, Advent; an invitation to wait. A holy, anticipatory waiting to reflect on God’s activity and be reminded of how we too are called to participate in his actions. If you’re reading this as a parent or ministry leader, you may be looking for ideas to help frame Advent this season, and help children live in the anticipation of this season.
Here are a few helpful ones that I’ve come across:
The global pandemic continues to stretch out, and as we head into the Advent season, many of us are being reminded that this Christmas is going to look different. However, as one of my favourite Christmas songs reminds us, “God is not dead, nor does he sleep.”
As your family prepares for Advent, I encourage you to consider how you will remind one another of God’s arrival and activity in our world: what are you doing to participate in Advent and what resources are you sharing with families around you? Join us in the conversation and share
Dan Pyke is the Director of Youth and Family Ministries for the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada. He can normally be found where there is good coffee, a good book, a good Tae Kwon Do lesson, or out walking his dog (who is a “good boy”). If you want to reach out to Dan directly, email him at [email protected]