It’s hard to believe Advent is upon us, especially since many students and others active in the NMSU community are square in the final push to the end of the fall semester. However, in a way it is fitting. Advent is time of hopeful anticipation and preparation as we look forward to the second coming of Christ at the end of time and the anniversary of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Likewise, for many students these next couple of weeks are a time of anticipation as they look forward to the end of classes, final grades and, for some, graduation and the end of their time as college students.
But why prepare? Especially when we know Christmas and the end of the semester are going to come regardless? Perhaps it is so this end is also a hopeful beginning...For students, this beginning may appear in the form of renewed energy and passion for their studies next semester. For graduating seniors, in the promise of soon being able to share their gifts and talents with our community through their careers. For all of us, that the birth of Jesus at Christmas may also birth new hope and love in our lives.
How fortunate we are to have a faith tradition that encourages us to intentionally enter into this time of prayerful, hopeful preparation. As we bless advent wreaths, let us also bless the students as they study (cram) for final exams. As we bless our manger scenes, let us also bless our graduating seniors as they transition into the next chapter of their lives. And in and through it all- O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!