Advent is my favorite season of the year. The scandal and beauty of Jesus’ birth never ceases to amaze me, and I think Christmas trees are pretty much the most awesome decorative item ever.*
One good thing about not being in a traditional ministry position this year is that I don’t have to participate in Advent/Christmas nonsense. By “nonsense” I mean things that in the church world can end up being distractions instead of aids to understanding the season. Examples of Christmas nonsense include: Decorating Committees bickering over whether to have red poinsettias or red AND white poinsettias this year; Christmas pageants that are showcases for child and/or adult talents, instead of opportunities to revel in the stable birth.
This year, I’m going to invite our little (VERY little) community to gather and celebrate that this weird, crazy, awesome thing really did happen. The Messiah, the long awaited one, really came here, to us. He was not born in a castle or even a decent home. He was born in the middle of life going on in an occupied territory, born to a woman passionate about the very thought of God’s justice and love, born in a place made for animals.
What a story. What a wild, unexpected, strange beginning for the Messiah. Should I be so surprised that my own life is so touched by the unexpected and the mysterious? Considering whom I follow and His life’s circumstances, maybe I should be a little less welcoming to the understandable, and a little more welcoming of the unexpected.
*yes, yes, I know their pagan roots. IDK! I love them!