Here we are at
Christmas Eve Advent 4 the day before Christmas, and I’m all of us are neck deep in preparations, preparations of preparations, and preparing ourselves to prepare for the preparations. I should also so that you have like a day, so you probably should have been doing all this yesterday.
But I don’t blame any of you for feeling a bit stressed, tired, and somewhat overwhelmed. I know I do, as is usual for someone who used to work retail for most of his life and then started working for the church. I don’t blame you for wanting things to go a certain way, look a certain way, sound and smell a certain way. I don’t blame you for probably putting a lot of pressure on yourself in this season, even when people reassure you that they didn’t even notice that your kids’ toys are all over the floor, or that there is a stain on your Christmas sweater, or that your sermon was the same as last year’s.
I don’t blame you because I do it to myself as well. I admit that I slept very little in the past few days (actually weeks… no make that months… hold on when were my kids born again?). I have been busy attempting to make things perfect, polished, or at least memorable. I want to make sure things are meeting expectations and at least look like there was some effort and intentionality put into it. I can’t help it, it is just who I am.
As I suspect you all are who you all are. Hosts, friends, neighbours, brothers, sisters, children, parents. We are people living among others in relationship and community and Christmas is a time to remember and celebrate that.
Even if it is stressful, this time with our loved ones fills our hearts and spirits and makes it all worth it. (I hope it does, at least).
Here are the readings for next week:
In these readings we see God intersecting our lives, being present, and just being all God and stuff for us. This is a reason to celebrate. It is a reason to share the joy. It is a reason to get together in community.
Because whether we know it or not, we see God in each other. We see God in our relationships and in our affections. We see God in the love we share with one another and those whom we encounter. And what a gift that is. What a gift it is to be able to see God, to see love, to see the community to which we all belong everywhere we look. And in that relationship and community, we do our best to be neighbours to each other, serving each other with what God has given us.
Like Simeon declaring the Christ child, so we too speak Christ when we greet each other, when we help each other, and when we maintain relationship with each other. For we are created to be relational and loving, and we have been given the ability to do so.
Praise be to God! For God has done much for us, and holy is God’s name!
Have a great (and relatively stress-free) week, everyone!