Well, here we are in Advent. How did that happen???
The paces of our lives are moving in the weirdest rhythm ever; both more slowly as we hold back on regular activities, events, travel, family gatherings and school(!), and speeding up as we eagerly await increasingly hopeful news of vaccines and dream of future freedom. Call me crazy, but I think Advent is coming at the ‘perfect’ time.
As I write this, we are still in November, barely.
I have a number of wall calendars in my home, each with a different theme. The one on my study is of New England coastal scenes. It’s my favorite. But…some of the monthly photos don’t always match with my mood for the month. So…sometimes I tear off the new month’s picture and re-use the last month’s photo, which I may have liked better. The problem is…these calendars are stapled in the middle of the 12 months, literally. So sometimes I have to add little tape to keep the new month connected with last month’s photo. (Go ahead and judge, we all have weird little habits!)
So… November’s calendar was the lucky recipient of October’s (re-used) photo, which was of the Marblehead harbor, where I lived for a year after college. Ahhh the good old days. But in recent days and weeks with changing temps and opening/closing windows, the calendar portion started slipping. I never got around to taping it. Yesterday ‘November’ was hanging on by a thread. How about you?
For those of you who are handling this year really well, just taking it in stride, stop reading. For the rest of you, stay with me. The beauty of Advent arriving (which is an oxymoron since advent means waiting) is that it gives us an opportunity to…turn our attention to something new, something hopeful and something that is a reminder of God’s unconditional and unending love.
The arrival of the Christ-Child is the concrete reminder of Immanuel, God-with-us. It is the also the most beautiful invitation to ‘turn the page’ and see what God has in store for us in spite of our weird habits, our need for control and our wanting to hold on to a past that seemed so much easier and bright, in retrospect, of course.
This Advent and Christmas will be like no other, but it doesn’t mean it won’t have its own special gifts and blessings unless we keep lamenting about what is not possible and/or try to keep repeating what has already been done. IS 42 says,” I am doing a new thing, do you not perceive it?”
I invite us all to be open to seeing the new visions that God has for us this December in Advent. I invite us all to bring light in the darkness to those who cannot see it or who have lost their way. I invite you all to remember that even though we will not be able to worship together that doesn’t mean our community is adrift. Just mending nets so we can make more ‘fishers of [people]’ when we reconvene.
By the way, the photo for December is a light house on top of a hill in the snow.
Seeking the newness of this Advent with you,