The things we want and need are plain and true: To live in peace in a safe, warm home; to eat soup and bread and drink wine; to sleep curled in the arms of one we love; to speak words of awe or pain to one we call friend; to sing songs of joy; to read, to work, to play; to seek, to find, to cry, to dream. To wait and hope for the Lord to come to us in strange new ways.
Hope, peace, joy, and love are the words we speak when we light the candles of the Advent wreath, one by one in prayerful contemplation.
If we can simplify our earthly needs and our Advent observance to plain words of one syllable, then perhaps we can learn to simplify the equivocation and the tergiversation with which we interact in and seek to explain the world around us. Perhaps we can even eliminate the extravagant exhibitionism with which we celebrate the coming of Jesus to Walmart and to Bethlehem.
My prayer for Advent is only this: Simplify.