Arising from a 19th century German tradition, advent calendars count the 24 days leading up to Christmas day. Advent, from the Latin adventus for arrival , has been in the Christian spiritual tradition dating back at least to the 4th century CE, and marks a time of celebration of the birth of Christ, and also spiritual preparation for His second coming. In contemporary usage, an advent calendar has become a fun and meaningful ritual to count down wintry December days towards Christmas, a season to reflect on the year gone by, love and be loved with friends and family, take in wonderful meals, and spend evenings by the fireplace.
December is also a time to quietly prepare our soul for the coming year. It is in this spirit that Robb Smith wanted to prepare this Integralist’s Intellectual Advent Calendar for you, 24 days of wide-ranging thoughts, insights, and soul snacks for your contemplation, consideration and maybe even consternation as you close out your year.
“Every verse and episode of the Jesus story is a metaphor for the human experience of awakening… As the Bible says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ [Psalm 46:10, ESV] And when you reorient your life toward this realization, then you understand: you so loved the world, you had so much compassion, you had so much love that you poured yourself forth into life, and that pouring forth was your birth. You are here to redeem whatever you encounter in this life, to wake up within everything the deep reality of its divine existence… The truth, I would suggest, is that you poured yourself willingly into form out of infinite love in order to redeem the entirety of this life. When seen from that perspective, all of a sudden life looks very different. You stop holding back from life, your inner life or the life around you, because the kingdom of heaven is within and all around you. That’s the message of the Jesus story.”