Advent marks the beginning of our liturgical year. Advent is a time of waiting, preparing and watching for how Christ is at work in our lives and in our world. For us, who live in the northern hemisphere, Advent comes as the nights grow longer and weather colder. The diminished light and heat can create a sense of dis-ease, loneliness and yearning. In that honest place of discomfort is where the season of Advent begins. Each of the 4 weeks of Advent gives us opportunity to hear both the idyllic dreams of peace and the nightmarish agony of difficult realities. Advent is a time for us to look for and name the hope we see in our lives and in our faith and to begin again living into that hope.