Thursday, 15 December 2016

Light in a Time of Darkness



When the sun starts to set at 3:30 pm every day, it makes sense on a whole new level that Advent is a season of lights.  Those twinkling electric candelabras are like winks from God--letting us in on the secret that soon, very soon, the cosmos will shift, the light will gather, and the days will grow longer.  "The darkness is but a small and passing thing."  Christmas will come.

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We don’t do Christmas.  Christmas comes to us, whether we’re ready or not.  Whether we bought a single gift, or have to work an overnight shift, or can’t imagine facing the day alone without the person whose absence is a gaping hole in our heart.  Whether our kids are getting 4 presents based on a rhyme we saw on Pinterest, or 42 because their grandparents all live out of state and have a Fisher Price addiction.  Or no presents at all, but maybe an extra nice dinner with enough for everyone to have seconds, because that’s what’s realistic this year, and thank God there’s enough. 

And maybe Christmas comes and there isn’t enough.  Maybe it doesn’t wrap up poetically like a Dicken’s novel or a Hallmark movie, and there are still broken hearts and empty cupboards, or a pile of wrapping paper mounted to the ceiling but cold, cheerless revelers dissatisfied with their loot. 

He comes to us at Christmas.  Whether we are ready to receive Him or not.  Whether we’re open or not.  Whether we’re tired or busy or angry or broken or deaf to His newborn cries.  He comes.  And for the next 3 and a half weeks, I can choose to focus on that imminent deadline and continually redirect my distractible nature to the reality of the season.  He is coming.  Gifts are great and giving is beautiful, but gifts are periphery to the bigger event at hand: He is coming.  I forgot to buy something for my son’s teacher and I need a Starbucks gift card.  He is coming.  We haven’t bought a tree yet.  He is coming.  I haven’t been to Confession in X months.  He is coming.  We can’t swing the plane tickets to visit X in X.  He is coming. 

There is still time to prepare.

-- "Silver Linings of a Small Budget Christmas," Mama Needs Coffee

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