As an adult, I’ve never really been a fan of Christmas. There are a variety of personal reasons, but at the core, in terms of spirituality, I think for me, the big Christian focus on the birth of Jesus has felt a little too triumphant. I like to focus on Jesus as person, as my spiritual teacher. Certainly his birth is to be celebrated, but I’ve always wanted something much more low-key. And, of course, our culture’s excess around this time has always felt not only unsettling, but in some ways, kinda opposite of what Jesus was all about.
For me, winter is a time of introspection and contemplation. And this year, I’ve decided to use the shorter Advent season in some of the same ways as I’ve used Lent in the past. A time to focus on contemplative practice. And, I think what I’ll lean toward this year is gratitude in the midst of the suffering of the world.
I’ll be posting here a blog entry for each Sunday of Advent, with some readings and practices that I’ll be working on during the week. I’m intrigued to see what arises for me during this time of short days and long nights.