Welcome to Secular Advent!

advent wreathAnd do this because you know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put on the armor of light.  Romans 13:11-12

Welcome my friends to Secular Advent!  For those of you who are not familiar with the holiday season, it began several years ago and has grown into the biggest secular holiday of the year.

Secular Advent used to begin on Black Friday.  Now it begins with Grey Thursday, right after Thanksgiving dinner, because greed can’t wait for an entire day of giving thanks, especially when we forget who to thank!

The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful, and has nobody to thank.–Dante Gabriel Rossetti

There are other minor holidays during Secular Advent, as well, like Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, but Secular Advent continues all the way until Return Unwanted Gifts Week!

For those of you, like me, who celebrate the Christian Advent, you need to understand that Secular Advent is the antithesis of The Christian Advent.

Secular Advent asks us to speed up and spend money now!  Christian Advent asks us to slow down and prepare for the coming of our savior Jesus Christ.

Secular Advent asks us to spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need, under the pretense that “it was on sale!”  Christian Advent asks us to be thankful for what we have and to give to those who have little.

Secular Advent asks us to fight for our rights for the last big screen television at Walmart, even if it means we have to kill for it, or at least start a riot.  Christian Advent asks us to pray for peace in the world.

Secular Advent reminds us that seven year-old’s need an iPhone 5s and both the Xbox and Play Station gaming systems because they deserve it.  Christian Advent reminds us that some children will have no gifts at Christmas and wouldn’t it be nice to buy something for a child who has little or nothing.

As for me, I prefer the Advent of our Christian faith.  And, so as not to get caught up in the hype of this secular holiday, here are a few things I am going to do.  Maybe you might try these too:

  1. I’m going to slow down and enjoy the advent season, enjoy the beauty of winter closing in, snowfall, and family and friends.
  2. As a Catholic, I’m going to attend mass every day  this advent season and focus on the coming of Jesus, not only on Christmas day, but his second coming as well.
  3. I’m going to increase my prayer time, especially to pray for those who will be sad at this special time of year because they have lost a loved one this year.
  4. I’m going to help someone in need, a family member, a friend or just a name from the giving tree or Salvation Army list.

My protest will be a quiet one, a silent one.  I will just choose not to participate in the madness.  Instead, I’ll try to concentrate my thoughts and deeds on throwing off the works of darkness and putting on the armor of light.

Please join me this Advent.

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