Merry Christmas! The Christmas Holiday season has officially begun in America. XM radio started two Christmas radio stations earlier this month and with Thanksgiving in the books, retailers have started a full-court advertising press with their Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials. For many of us, it is a season of hectic busyness, stress, and chaos — children’s activities, shopping, Christmas parties, and, yes, even church activities. Today, however, marks the beginning of Advent. It is also the beginning of the church calendar. Advent comes from Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” It is a season of waiting, preparation, and celebration. We celebrate and give thanks for Christ’s birth while we also anticipate his second coming at the end of time. In our worship services, we will light the Advent candles to represent Christ, the Light of the World, stepping into darkness, our world. This Christmas, let’s not fall into the trap of busyness. Let’s rejoice in celebrating the birth of our Savior. Let us also prepare our hearts with hopeful anticipation of Christ’s second coming. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).