Christmas (Christ's Mass ... an assembly, a celebration of Christ)
I can be objective and historical about the holiday until Advent begins.
Advent - "coming"
Four Sundays before the marked day of celebration of His first coming, we begin to slow down, quiet our hearts, as we end each day remembering what it was like to walk in darkness before the Light of the world came into the world bringing hope.
We have all known darkness, and now we know hope.
Like Israel, and all those since the fall in the garden, we are filled with anticipation of the fulfillment of a promise.
"O Come Thou Day Spring
Come and cheer our spirits by Thine Advent here..."
Cheer our spirits by Thy coming.
How my heart quiets once the first candle is lit...
(the Light of the Hope of the Prophets)
and the words of Isaiah are read...
"on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned... For unto us a child is born... Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace... The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this..."
"O Come O Come Emmanuel"
Come, 'God With Us'!
Come be with us.
My eldest knew to sing this song at two, and a decade later we still sing.
I sit back and listen to the informal catechism between my husband and my children, the same questions I was asked as a child by my father.
"Why do we light the first candle?"
"We light this candle as a symbol of expectation... of hope."
We seek Him. And, in Him, we find HOPE.