Advent began Sunday.

It’s not something we practiced while I was growing up, nor one I’ve practiced since marriage.

Some think that it is related to Christmas. But, that is a relatively recent linkage in the history of the Christian church.

Some think Advent was practiced by the 5th Century (400s) as a time of fasting and preparation for baptisms on the Feast of Epiphany.

Some think that advent (the word comes from the Latin which is a translation of the Greek for coming) related (or relates?) to the second coming of Jesus when he’ll judge the world.

Looks like it was a time of recognition of God entering the world whatever the theology of the times called for.

The Celebration of Christ’s Birth (Christmas) is such an ingrained cultural phenomenon globally (even among people not wishing to be called Christian or even Jesus-followers) that Advent necessarily is tied to it today. Until a time when all that changes.

For me–my wife takes great joy in decorating the house in celebration of Christmas. I’m writing this staring at an accumulation of mugs once filled with mulled wine or hot chocolate from Chicago’s Christkindlmarket that come out every year with the addition of the latest one acquired on “Black Friday.”

So when I rise from sleep and go downstairs to read, meditate, and pray, I turn on the Christmas tree lights and meditate on the coming of Jesus into the world. I guess that is preparation for the coming.

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