In the church calendar, we are in the season of Advent; a period of reflection and expectation as we near our celebration of the birth of Christ. An active season it is, to be sure. Churches busy themselves with hanging royal purple from their altars and lecterns, with practicing gloriously joyous and contemplative music, with purchasing candles and wreaths and finding players for pageants, all to help in the retelling for the world the Story of stories over Advent’s four weeks. The world around bustles in a flurry of purchasing gifts, sending cards, baking cookies and loaves and cakes, decorating and planning and inviting and partying.
Oh, there is just so much to do isn’t there! And often I think amid the Santas in the malls, the wrapping and shopping and carolling and hot chocolate and reindeer and pancakes and turkey and full-throttle celebrating, we are sometimes so pushed about in the fray that we get lost. We become so preoccupied that we sometimes forget. We ignore the call that heralds us back from the barrage, to slow down and share in the wonder, to pause and spend time in personal reflection. We brush aside the invitation to consider, to have a sliver of faith to maybe just maybe believe, to grasp what the Babe in the manger might possibly mean for us, what the Babe just might possibly mean for all of humanity. Tsk! We have too many things, important things to do to take a break! we say as we check off our to-do lists.
What could this Babe’s invitation possibly hold of any value?
Peace – but not according to the world’s definition of peace. Something far deeper, far more true and lasting, far more genuine.
Love – but not according to the world’s washed-out definition of love. Something far more vibrant, far more sincere, far richer, far more expansive.
Hope – but not according to the world’s misguided hope. Something far more substantial, more refreshing, far more undeniable.
Joy – but not happiness, not what depends upon circumstance. Something far more profound, more heartfelt, far more bona fide.
Can we interrupt the season’s diversions for just a moment to leap into that tiniest sliver of faith to venture close to that manger in wonder?
I wonder ….
Soil and Seed