The Gnostic Advent

Christmas begins on Tuesday and it lasts for 12 days. Some criticize Advent as gnostic. “Advent is too immaterial and Christians want nothing with immateriality. We want the physical things like eggnog and gifts under the tree. So, why wait? Some would say? “Why not start celebrating Christmas early and get rid of this mysticism of Advent?”

Every year I hear this type of argument the more committed I am to the blessings of Advent. Call me stubborn, but I think Advent is as material as John leaping in Elizabeth’s womb, as material as tears of those waiting for Messiah to come, as material as getting together for dessert and singing of Advent hymns. Let’s be honest: Advent is only gnostic to those who want it to be gnostic.

I pray this season with all its rich texts about judgment and grace, waiting and deliverance, hope and joy was everything it was meant to be for you and your loved ones. I pray Advent prepared you to embrace these twelve days of Christmas with great rejoicing.

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