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It still being Christmas and all (12 days, remember?), I figured I was due a post for this festive season.
It seems this year went by in such a rush, but I find myself saying that more and more each year as I get older. Still, I tried to remain true to the season of Advent, staying detached from the Holiday bustle, and take stock internally of how this years has progressed. I have so many friends that do not come from a liturgical church, so the idea of Advent tends to be lost on them. As they sing their Christmas songs and have their Christmas parties starting as soon as Thanksgiving is over, I see the Chirstmas celebration in full swing for a month before the actually day arrives. The celebration is so drawn out, I can’t help but think that the spirit is worn out of the holiday as well. In fact, I have one friend whose church didn’t even have a Christmas Eve or Christmas day service. The meaning of the actual day has gotten lost.
Why do we celebrate Advent? Why do we hold ourselves back in hopeful expectation of the celebration of Christmas? Honestly, it’s the same reason we have foreplay before sex. For an event as important as Christmas, why are we so intent on rushing into it, taking it for what it’s worth for instant gratification and then finding ourselves spent by the time Christmas day actually arrives?
Christmas is such a brief celebration in our Liturgical Calendar as it is. So quickly do the wreaths of holly become the crown of thorns. The evergreen tree on which we hang our beautiful ornaments will soon be a tree upon which we hang the fragile and broken body of Chirst. But for these brief 12 days, we take the time to celebrate the birth of God in our lives. We have prepared through Advent to push aside the clutter that has built up in our hearts to make room for the indwelling of the Divine in each of us. But without that preperation, that Indwelling gets lost. The Presence remains hidden.
But if we take the time to stop in all the hectic driving of the holidays, and ask ourselves where we can find the incarnation of God in each of our lives, where ever it is we find that we need God most, then as we arrive at Christmas day and see that vulnerable infant, that God in flesh for each of us, we can truly appreciate the wonder that such a gift is.
So as we continue our celebration and begin our New Year, I pray that we can find the time to stop, even if for just a moment, and feel the Presence inside, a Presence of God that is in us all. Amen.