Celebrating and Waiting too -
As Advent has begun we are invited into a sacred space for waiting, for wondering, for thought and reflection. How many years do we find ourselves well into December before we pause for two seconds to remember that Christmas hasn’t really come yet. After all we still find ourselves in the anticipatory phase of Christmas, also known as Advent, and besides we haven’t done any shopping yet anyway so let’s just slow down for a second and be where we are first! Right, I bet this slow down lasts for about as many seconds as it took for us to remember that it’s still Advent!
Our lives are, whether we like to admit it or not, determined mostly by the culture and society surrounding us. Christmas is here, though it hasn’t begun, and well…Advent what? As the faithful people of God that we are, we strive all year to live in that place of Christian truth that often cuts against the cultural grain of a society that has determined that faith and church and perhaps even God are outdated and certainly don’t do us any good. We dutifully attend our services on Sunday and light another blue (or purple) candle and we pray for peace and hope and joy as we try to hold in front of us the vision of the coming of the Christ, child, savior, redeemer.
I wonder – how are we doing? I wonder – do we judge ourselves harshly every Advent Season when we’d rather launch into Christmas already and relish in the celebratory surroundings of silly Christmas songs, endless campy movies about Christmas, dragging out and wearing those Christmas sweaters – breathing in the sheer excitement of the children (of all ages) who can’t help themselves with excitement!
I wonder – how are we doing? I wonder – do we drag our feet every Advent Season when we don’t think we can face another Christmas song or movie, when the celebratory surroundings of Christmas are more than our burdened and broken hearts can handle and yet we try to put that happy smile on our faces – gasping for the breath of something more peaceful and serene.
This blue/purple season that turns into red and green and then white is a complex time for most of us. None of us escapes the mix of feelings and memories that seem so much more pronounced right now in the face of the celebrations and the anticipation too.
I invite us each to rest comfortably (as possible) where we are. I invite us each to allow the other to rest as comfortably (as possible) where they are too – for it is in the midst of this rest that we find God.
For both Advent and Christmas are about finding God; in ourselves and in each other.