40 Minus 1 And Counting

30 Nov

Yesterday started the countdown. Forty minus one and counting. We are now into the Christian season of Advent, the forty days preceding Christmas. It’s generally understood as a “get ready” time, preparation for the remembrance celebration of the birth of Jesus. I’m just curious…what do you do to get ready? What’s on your checklist of preparations?

On the more secular side, we make sure we have enough Christmas cards. Don’t forget the stamps. We begin early planning for the Christmas meal with family and/or friends. But this year…well. Decorations! Of course, inside and outside. The electric power company loves us. Some of us try to lose ten pounds so we can put it back on from Christmas to New Years. Some of us don’t and we look like Wally the Walrus by New Year’s Day. The planning goes on.

On the religious side, we attend special services at our churches. Well, we used to. This year we will stream Advent across the networks. We read Advent devotional books, focus our prayer experiences more toward Advent/Christmas, and devise other wonderful ways to prepare for what’s coming. Something wonder-filled.

I suppose there is a secular/religious side, too. In that you might include special efforts to care for the poor, the homeless, the helpless…whether they are believers or not. Advent and Christmas bring out the best of our benevolent selves. Everybody makes the list on Christmas.

Now, I’m not a wet blanket, but I’ve heard of people who have to take a week or two off after forty days and Christmas to recover from the joyful season. And they are not all clergy, by the way. So the moral to my story is this. We are in an enforced slowdown environment right now, and we will be, in all likelihood, on December 25. So, let this Advent season be an intentionally slower paced process than in previous years. Use the new Covid definition of time as an opportunity to breath at a normal rate, become more intimately involved with your inner being, think of others as personal blessings, not just people to buy for. Connect. Connect.

The anniversary of Jesus’ birth is going to come whether you are ready or not, whether we like it or not. Give yourself…and give God…the thoughtful gift of your fullest presence to the Good News. As they say in the movies, this Advent can be “the beginning of a wonderful friendship.” Maybe out of this terrible time, into which Advent comes, in which Jesus’ birth is honored, maybe out of this heart-breaking time you will build a memory which will feed your spirit for years to come.

May it be so.

One Response to “40 Minus 1 And Counting”

  1. gz November 30, 2020 at 7:54 am #

    Ditto may it be so.

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