The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Hit 'pause'

Advent: A gift of waiting

Waiting isn't easy ­ —especially for families in the days leading up to Christmas. Parents want to wrap up their holiday shopping. Children want to open their gifts. All around us, from the decorations we see in stores to the carols we hear on the radio, our culture seems to press the fast-forward button to rush us toward Dec. 25.

But as people of faith, we're called to wait to celebrate Jesus' birth. During Advent, the four-week season of the church that proceeds Christmas, we're reminded to pause and prepare — and to rejoice and watch — as we look toward the coming of the Christ child.

istock photoIt's not easy to put the brakes on Christmas and practice the patience of Advent. "Advent is about saying 'yes' to slowing down and pointing our hearts back to the story of Jesus," said Tony Biaggne, creative director of the Advent Conspiracy, a multidenominational online movement that pushes back against the holiday rush and consumerism. "It tells us that we need this time of waiting so we can soak in the story of the beautiful scandal of the birth of our savior."

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