Just Thinking ...
Why does it seem to take more energy to decorate and prepare the house for Advent and Christmas? Yes, I'm 55, and having to carry the tubs up from the basement storage takes a bit more effort. Yes, there is only me now to do this lifting and toting since we are empty nesters. Yes, the rush is not there, because it is only Sally and I who get to see the finished, decorated space. Yes, it is difficult to get in the "spirit" when your "work" doesn't seem to lend itself to the season; forms are expected, deadlines need to be met, meetings to attend, papers for DMin, and now 3 books to be ready by the New Year.
I do not like blah Advent and Christmas seasons. I become cranky and irritable when the fun and joy of the season is stolen by the many regularities of life. I cry when I hear the old Christmas songs of home for the holidays and smiles on the faces of children, because I seem to be missing these and so much more. Where is Christmas?
Thankfully we are a liturgical people who don't rush into the Christmas event. It takes time to prepare our hearts from the hardness of the world and from the hardness of the Church. Yes, I said it! There is so much to "do" that often times we as clergy fail to take the time to prepare the ground of our heart for the Advent of Christ. I know when I begin to feel as I described above, it is time to put the brakes on and to simply let the Spirit bring the spirit of the season to my mind and heart.
I pray you are finding time to prepare your heart as you seek to prepare the hearts of the lives entrusted to you. I pray that you are not too educated and too advanced not to need the work of the Holy Spirit upon your heart in this season; this season where hate abounds, where cruelty reigns, where lives have little value to many, where the bells of heaven seem silent for the noise of evil ringing over the globe.
Believe me when I tell you, sisters and brothers, Christ will still come, and He will come to redeem God's world. It is upon you and me to find the strength and excitement to proclaim the good news of great joy. Yes, it is hard when you do not feel like it, but not only are we a liturgical people, we are a people of faith, born at Christmas and at each moment of doubt and fear.
Arise, preachers, and follow ... follow the Spirit and prepare the way of the Lord. You will feel like it soon enough!
Following with you,