I seem to be a little out of practice for Advent. Last year I missed Advent with my congregation since I spent most of it with my Dad in the days before his death. Dad died on December 18th and I didn't return to worship with my congregation until the Sunday after Christmas. Liturgically I went from Christ the King Sunday to Epiphany. Everything in between was a blur.
Spiritually I also missed out on Advent. It was difficult to wait with anticipation for the birth of the Christ Child while I was also anticipating the death of my father. Even so, I was able to draw the connection that, even in the midst of death and despair, Christ comes. A week after my father died we celebrated the birth of the savior of the world. That is the good news. Christ comes.
So this year I am trying to be present in Advent. Even as the Christmas tree and lights and cookies remind me of hospital beds and visiting nurses and funeral directors, I know that Christ comes. In fact, Christ comes right into our living rooms whether they are filled with presents or littered with medications and oxygen machines. Christ still comes.
This is the good news.