From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 4th Sunday of Advent

Hi everyone,

So there was a bit of drama in the house this afternoon as our two younger ones got their first doses of the COVID vaccination. As far as I know, our kids are among the latest of their peers and our friends’ kids to get their first shots, but somehow it was still too soon for them. Some of you out there might know what it’s like waiting for a shot when you’re petrified of shots. If you don’t know, let me tell you, it isn’t pleasant.

There were tears, there was complaining, there was the trying to get away and denying the need to even get the vaccination. It was like the fear was all consuming and nothing else could even be considered.

I tried to reassure them that the shot doesn’t hurt at all. I told them how I barely felt mine. I’m not even trying to be super macho or anything (although I totally am). My shot was so quick and painless that I was actually questioning the nurse if she even broke the skin (but the red blood mark and slight soreness the day after told me that she did).

But my story of bravery and brute strength didn’t impress them whatsoever. It wasn’t good enough. They knew shots hurt and the fear of that pain took over all their emotions and actions. They had psyched themselves way too far for any kind of reasoning or consolation. Not even being reminded of the good they are doing for themselves and those around them by getting the vaccine could quell those fears.

Turns out their fears were substantiated too, as they both said the shots really hurt. Nothing some McDonald’s ice cream can’t fix though…

Here are the readings for next week:
Micah 5:2-5a
Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-55

We are so close to Christmas and the pent up excitement is almost at its peak. Much of the decorations are up, the plans are set, and all that needs to happen now are the passing of a few (or few hundred, give or take) hours. Before we know it, we will be celebrating, spending time with friends and family, and making merry. That’s what Christmas is about, isn’t it?

For most of us, yes, but there are others who can’t see it that way. Maybe it is due to some past trauma around this season. Maybe it has to do with upbringing or cultural background. Or maybe some people just have this unabashed “bah humbug” attitude. Whatever it is, not everyone has the same idea of Christmas.

Truth be told, I would think that Mary’s idea of this time of year would have been similar. I mean she was young when all of this happened. She was inexperienced. She must have been scared out of her mind. If I were her, I think I would have wanted to run away and just give up.

But she didn’t.

In fact, she was able to push away the fears, find courage from within, and see just what God is doing in the world. She was afraid, no doubt, but she was able to psych herself out to the point that she was able to sing for joy for all that God has done, was doing, and will continue to do throughout history.

Indeed this time of year isn’t joyous for everyone. For some it might even be scary. But let’s not get too psyched out about that to the point where we cannot see any joy, any where. Instead we can embrace the areas of life that do give us joy, be it time with friends and family, activities that fulfill us and give us life, or even being able to watch the new Spider-Man movie coming out later this week. We can revel in and give thanks for those times, and be reminded that God is our God, regardless of how we view this upcoming Christmas season.

Thanks be to God for all of God’s graciousness and blessing!
Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

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