I remember the Advent Calendar of my childhood. Mother would pull it out of the box of decorations every year, and every day I would open a new window or door and see the delightful picture behind it. I don’t recall that it felt like a particularly spiritual experience, and it was a Christmas-y (with Santa) kind of decoration. Nonetheless, it still had its spiritual lessons – to count the days – to wait patiently – to experience expectancy and anticipation of something good. We need that still in this darkest time of the year – and in all the darkest seasons of our lives. It’s the lesson for a child and for us.
Advent Calendarby Rowan WilliamsHe will come like last leaf’s fall.One night when the November windhas flayed the trees to bone, and earthwakes choking on the mould,the soft shroud’s folding.He will come like the frost.One morning when the shrinking earthopens on mist, to find itselfarrested in the netof alien, sword-set beauty.He will come like dark.One evening when the bursting redDecember sun draws up the sheetand penny-masks its eye to yieldthe star-snowed fields of sky.He will come, will comewill come like crying in the night,like blood, like breaking,as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child
Source: The Poems of Rowan Williams, by Rowan Williams. Grand Rapids,MI: William B. Eerdsman Publishing Co., 2004. Found on the Education for Justice website.