Advent: The Prequel of All Prequels

December 14, 2021

Given the entertainment industry’s propensity to make prequels, sequels, and backstories, I was thinking of calling this blog: Son of Advent: Part 2.

I can hear some of you saying, “When was there Son of Advent: Part 1?”

Well, last week’s Insight blog was, in a way, Advent: The Movie (If you missed last week’s blog/column, click here).

Last week I wrote about Advent being a time of waiting and how waiting can be an important spiritual discipline. Waiting is certainly something that we have had to go through in this COVID-impacted economy of supply-side disruptions. To borrow from The Night Before Christmas:

In the grocery and department stores, the shelves were all bare, shoppers kept hope that food and gifts would soon appear there.

When what to my wondering eyes did produce such a pain, but a never-ending global mess of a disrupted supply chain!

The prices were climbing straight through the attic roof, and would not stop rising despite the stamping of my hoof.

But I read in the Daily Word to let go and let God in this plight, so a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

I know Advent seems like a minor second fiddle compared to Christmas, but for a moment, picture Advent: The Movie as the main feature. So keep munching on your popcorn and consider the following:

~ It was during Advent, Mary said “yes” to God and “have your own way.” During Advent, Mary showed incredible trust even when things were not following her script.

~ It was during Advent, Joseph had a dream that told him that there was another way – and a far better way – of seeing his situation with Mary.

~ It was during Advent, both Mary and Joseph were willing to leave their comfort zone of Nazareth and journey to Bethlehem – without any reservations (and you can take that several different ways).

~ It was during the prequel and way before Christmas, the Wise Men first saw the Star and were willing to follow it. (I love the saying, “Wise men and women are still willing to follow that Star!”)

You and I will probably never be put to such hard tests as Mary, Joseph, and the Wise Men faced. I hope that if we had to travel, our transportation methods would be smoother, and we might be able to make reservations in advance. However, I remember when the Belous family made a long road trip from Northern Virginia to Glacier National Park in western Montana, we had to cross through North Dakota. This part of America was going through its incredible fracking boom. Well, for many miles, there seemed to be ‘no room in the inn’ – and there wasn’t even a stable for us.

But no matter what trials we face, may we learn from Advent. May we be able to draw on the powers of Faith, Strength, Wisdom, Zeal, and Love. May we remember that the 12 Powers – and all of their offspring – reside in us. It is easy to remember this during a Sunday church service. But may we remember this during the more difficult times when the ‘rubber meets the road.’ May we remember this during our Advents.

And may we remember that our Christmas will follow our Advents. It is easy to lose sight of this in the daily ups and downs. I have found it important to remember the advice of Unity’s co-founder Myrtle Fillmore. She would often remind people to “Look beyond appearances.” Look beyond the relative realm or material world. Look beyond to that absolute realm of Divine Mind, and know that there is a Divine Spark inside of all of us. That is our real essence and not our “error thoughts” (of lack, scarcity, doubt, and self-inflicted emotional wounds). We are truly more than enough!

So much of the really hard stuff happened during Advent. If making a good story/movie requires a challenge, then the first Advent is an example of successive challenges being overcome. Our lives, similar to Advent, are successive challenges and opportunities in many ways.

May your Advent – like Mary, Joseph, and Wise Men – be a time when your reliance on Faith, Strength, Wisdom, Zeal, and Love grows. And may it be a time where you discover that you are far more than you realized you were before Advent.

So a very Joyous Advent to you – and almost as an afterthought, Merry Christmas!

Many blessings,

Rev. Rick

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