…..from your Pastor’s Desk:
Advent 2017-the shortest one in recorded history. Barely 23 days long. It is hard to believe that Christmas is NEXT WEEK! Wow! This means we are in the final days of Advent. And so our focus is-Getting to the Manger. So often the final days before Christmas becomes a blur of activity. Hopefully this year, we have gotten good at using the background time each day to focus our reflection and conversation with God the Father and with Jesus.
Now that we have come to the hectic days, we can choose to stay focused right up to the end and including Christmas. One of the special ways to do that is to not lose the manger. It is the centerpiece of the story and it is loaded with meaning, a message, consolation and fruit for us.
The riches of the Advent experiences are here—in letting ourselves imagine the Holy Family of Joseph and Mary arriving in Bethlehem for the census, having nowhere to stay. A special transformation begins to happen the day before Christmas when we start to imagine that stable where our Savior was born. It is the deepening antidote to some of
the excesses the last few weeks of Christmas preparation. Perhaps too much glitz, too many parties and celebrations which are quite a few degrees off center. It is there in the stable, in its humble feeding trough but I will find the fulfillment of my longing and hope. In that poverty my Savior, my Light and Peace, reveals to me the Good News He came to bring. He came into the world as He would leave it, humble and dependent upon God.
Christmas Joy. Christmas will be totally different, after this kind of deep Advent Journey. We can’t help but experience real joy for having prepared to be renewed in the gift of life that comes to us through Jesus.
We will sing, “Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant:, with a much deeper meaning for us, when there is more light than darkness, more freedom than addiction, more hope than discouragement, more peace than conflict . We have much reason to rejoice at such a gift. Putting the meaning back into Christmas is reason enough to give Advent a new chance this year, in the midst of our busy lives.
What a blessing, what a joy!