noun, the arrival of a notable person, thing or event.
As I write this, it’s October, and 78 degrees outside. It’s that confusing time when the stores aren’t sure what they should be promoting: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are simultaneously bombarded at us. Like stores, the JM Music Department has been working on Christmas for weeks.
Okay, honestly - do you ever find Christmas exhausting? Maybe not exhausting, but overwhelming? Or just plain stressful? I remember my Mom, church organist for 50 years, needing to hibernate on Christmas afternoon.
Have you ever fantasized about going to a far-away island and ignoring the entire season? Ignoring the crowds, shopping parties, overspending, baking, cleaning, final exams, wrapping, relatives, rehearsals, performances, fruitcake, clutter of life, stress-of-too-many-expectations? Away from it all? No stress, no worry. But wait a second! Those things aren’t supposed to be important, right? My favorite Dr. Seuss paragraph:
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ‘till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thougtht of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. Theodor Seuss GeiselYou know what? The season always come sand goes. No matter if the choir is prepared for Lessons & Carols. No matter that I’ve given up on gift wrapping and just toss the gifts into Kroger bags. No matter that my Christmas cards are mailed on January 9th.
Every Advent, I usually find 3 hours of peace: in the stillness and calm after our Christmas Eve service, I watch the beautiful services broadcast from England This year, I won’t allow those pesky “Ghosts of Christmas Present” to steal the peace, comfort, joy, and love of this Holy Season.