A 2nd Week of Advent Scoop


(Credit: ImageVine.com)

Advent has begun! Jesus is on His way, and we have set out on our way to meet Him. Let’s see where we are in the coming second week of Advent with the Gospel, our lives, and the Montrose Christmas spirit.

A Peek at the Gospel: “John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins… ‘One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals’” (Mark 1:4,7).

John the Baptist is pretty amazing. He lived in a desert dieting on locusts so that he could baptize people and urge them to repent of their sins. And yet he says he’s not worthy enough to even loosen Jesus’ sandal straps. First we might think, then how are we worthy?! But secondly, what an incredible example of humility we see as we enter Advent. We spend Advent preparing for Christmas. John the Baptist tells us more specifically what that means: we must empty ourselves of all the things that are unfriendly to Jesus, like self-centeredness, reluctance to love other people, etc, in order to receive him. John taught people how to receive Jesus’ grace and he modeled authentic humility himself. Thus, he reveals to us that, in order to prepare for Christ, we must speak and act in a way that helps us become more ready for him.

What exactly does that speaking and acting look like?

We can start with prayer. Can we pray a little more intently, emptying our minds of distractions before we pray, or choose a special intention for each week of Advent, or meditate on a lyric of a sacred Carol each day? Imagine how much better your day would be if you repeated internally throughout the day, “Hark the herald angels sing!” with the conviction that the angels really are singing for joy! Then we examine our relationships — can we listen more than speak, or speak up more if it would benefit those around us, or give more one-on-one attention to a particular friend or family member? And of course, we can participate in preparations for the Christmas holiday, which leads to the final thought for this second week of Advent…

Christmas Spirit at Montrose!

Let’s use the material parts of Christmas preparation to support our spiritual journey during Advent. Creatures of body and soul, we humans often open up our souls to the spiritual joy and grace of Christmas when we decorate homes, send cards, give gifts, and do all the rest. We can also distract ourselves silly with all the material parts of Christmas, but that’s a topic for another article.

A recent survey checked in on Montrosians’ favorite ways to celebrate Christmas as of the first weekend of Advent. The top “favorite” Christmassy activity was listening to or singing Christmas music. Decorating a tree or home was the top “second favorite” activity. We were rather inconclusive on whether or not it was time to get a tree — 77.5% say it’s time for a tree, while the other 22.5% think we ought to wait a bit. A staunch 75% said they were ready for the first week of Advent, so we can expect Christmas excitement to only build in the weeks ahead.

Anna Sheehan ’21