I don’t talk about it much but I am a Christian. Not the American evangelical type but more of the original reformation Calvinist type. I happened to be taking set theory at the same time as I was reading Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. God is the set of all sets. Which cannot exist. You probably follow my logic from there. Math and divinity school are a weird mix.
I like routine and rhythm and even seasons. I particularly like holidays and the way we set our calendars by them. The holy nights between Christmas and epiphany are some of the most sacred in my own calendar as I use them for rest and reflection. It’s the space between the in breath and out breath of the year.
Tonight is the first night of advent. It’s the 4th Sunday before Christmas. Advent, from the Latin adventus and the Greek parousia, means arrival or coming. I guess strictly speaking it’s the liturgical calendar’s preparation for the nativity of Christ but also maybe the second coming. Apparently no one knows exactly when Christians decided to celebrate advent (maybe the Council of Tours?), but it seems to involve fasting.
I have an advent wreath and candles. I am ready to celebrate the changing seasons. I like the idea that the end of the year is the beginning of the new one. Beginnings and endings now being so wrapped up in the Christian calendar that we don’t even remember what pagan light festival they replaced. Winter solstice is just a part of the season now. The first Sunday of Advent are coinciding with the first not of Chanukah this year. Festival of lights are aligning this year. I’ll be lighting a lot of candles to see myself into the end of this year.