The Advent season has great significance in the light of the difficulties that our country, Nigeria, faces. We are in a time when waiting upon the Lord is even more important than the usual impatience connected with the joyful celebration of Christmas. There is a need for a collective stop, introspection, and intentional waiting, which is highlighted by the echoes of hardship and the weight of a high cost of living. The Church’s exhortation to slow down and actively wait becomes an oasis of hope as we traverse the intricacies of a society struggling with political unpredictability and economic pressures. It prompts us to rethink what genuinely matters in the middle of daily life’s clamour. In the face of difficulty, Advent’s waiting becomes a spiritual practise – a conscious act of entrusting our concerns to a higher power.
The distractions of a crammed schedule or the demands of materialism may entice us to overlook the significant opportunity that this season offers. However, the Church’s traditions give a road map for a meaningful Advent. Advent wreaths, spiritually oriented calendars, and the storytelling aspect of a ‘Jesse tree’ assist us in our waiting, providing moments of thought amid the turbulence. During Advent, the symbolism of lights takes on a poignant meaning. The lights, in addition to being a festive ornament, become a depiction of Christ as the “Light of the World.” In a country where darkness may appear to be ubiquitous due to numerous obstacles, light displays serve as a powerful reminder of the hope that transcends our immediate surroundings.
In the midst of economic hardship, reaching out to individuals who are lonely becomes more than just a kind gesture; it becomes a powerful declaration of solidarity. The lights that adorn our streets should encourage us to bring light into the lives of people who may be burdened by the hardships of our times, in the genuine spirit of Christmas. Let us turn to the Lord in the active waiting of Advent, seeking solace and wisdom in the face of tribulation. It does not erase the hard realities we face on a daily basis, but it does provide a spiritual anchor, reminding us that there is a larger story happening. This season is an invitation to wait on the Lord, not just for the celebration of His birth, but also for the hope and rejuvenation He offers, particularly in times of national adversity.
May this Advent be a time when our waiting is not only passive, but also a source of strength, resilience, and shared purpose. May the lights that we put up in our homes and communities serve as torches of hope, blazing the route to a brighter, more hopeful future for Nigeria.