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Well, here we are. We’re coming to the end of Thanksgiving weekend, which means there is no denying that the holiday season has truly begun. Parties, family time, gifts, special events, decoration, cookies, friend time, more cooking and eating, photos, cards. I’m exhausted already, and it hasn’t even really started.
Here in the church we are at the end of the year. This Sunday, called the Last Sunday after Pentecost or Christ the King Sunday, is the last Sunday in the church calendar. Next week, we start a new year, with the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is the season of preparation for the birth of Jesus. Advent has its own rituals and traditions, like lighting the Advent wreath and setting aside time for reflection and preparing our own hearts for Jesus’ arrival.
These two seasons of preparation - the ‘holiday’ season of our culture and the season of Advent - seem both paradoxical and complementary.