It’s December! First candle from our advent candlestick was lit on Sunday, and the kids are happily partaking in the traditional countdown to Christmas by having to eat a chocolate everyday.
Yesterday I was in a zoom meeting with some awesome work colleagues and friends. We were talking about our highlights from the previous month, progress and victories, and goals reached. One of the team member was telling us about a development programme he has found very useful, and he mentioned something that stuck with me and has made me think. The programme, as I understood it, asks you to take an aspect from your life (eg. family, mental health, social, physical health) and define what you believe about this. Once you have defined what is important to you about that, it then follows on by asking you ‘what are you doing about that today?’ As I sat pondering this and the Christmas carols where playing in the background, my eyes rested on our advent candlestick/wreath. Not sure how big a part of Christmas this is for people in England (apart from Churches), but advent and it’s meaning is the basis of many a song we Norwegians do, specially in schools. Just as for a lot of people in this country you get a real sense of Christmas when you hear children sing ‘Away in a manger’, for me and many fellow Norwegians it comes with the advent candles being lit, and the accompanying words that goes with that.
Each candle that gets lit in the countdown to Christmas represent one important part of the Christmas message, and life in general. Joy, love, hope and peace!
And as I sat there I thought: what do I believe about this and what about this is important to me. How do I define what I believe about joy? Is it adventures, laughter and fun, or is it a sense of inner satisfaction and a state of happiness. What do I believe about peace? Off course I want a world without war, but what about justice and fighting for equality, and how does ‘peace of mind’ fit into all of this? What am I hoping for, stretching towards, what do I really desire to come to past? What about love? Is it just about my affections or is it something bigger or deeper then that?
Once how this matters to me is defined, then the killer question kicks in. What am I doing today about this?
My advent challenge to you is to take these four words: Joy, Hope, Peace and Love, and define what they really mean to you.