As an adult, Thanksgiving has come to be my favorite of holidays. Although I spend hours and hours buying food, preparing it, and setting up the table, finally the moment arrives and we sit down to a feast.
But more glorious to me, is the fact that I have no cooking to do for the next three days. When we feast, we feast. We eat Thanksgiving dinner for four days, enjoying it anew each time, and leaving little in the way of leftovers.
But I admit, that around Saturday, I start to lose my contentment. It has nothing to do with the cooking. It has everything to do with the looming specter of the holidays to come and all the work that that entails.
There is of course more buying and cooking of food, but there is the addition of decorating, holiday cards, gifts, and all the sundry events and parties and so forth. And it seems overwhelming.
In my thirties, it seemed nearly impossible. I seem to never have a moment when I wasn’t shopping, decorating, baking, or obsessing. As I’ve aged, and our lives have settled down, frankly little of this troubles me now. But I remember it quite well.
Advent comes as an island in the chaos. It tells us to slow down, stop our obsessing about things that don’t matter much at all, and to concentrate on what truly is. The LORD IS COMING!
And we are reminded that instead of all this unnecessary busy work, we should be concentrating on what is truly valuable–doing our best to usher in the kingdom that we so long for.
Believe me, we can be at our worst during the hustle and bustle of holiday times. We can be rude and pushy, arrogant, and down right mean to those who we see as getting in our way or obstructing our plans. And Advent reminds us, that that is not what we should be about at all.
It is a time of shared love and charity. It is a time of community, and caring for each other. It is a time when we join together in our hope for the future that we know to be ours.
Mark reminds us: “What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'”
And Paul tells us that we have been given all we need to be at the watch: “in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,. . . ”
We take a pause in our busyness, and contemplate these things.
We realize that we get caught up in the Madison Avenue of it all, and we lose sight of our need. Our need is great. It is the need for our God:
“Yet, O LORD, you are our father;
we are the clay and you the potter:
we are all the work of your hands.
We need with a deep yearning to recall that we are fashioned as God would have us. We are not consumers. We are not Italians, or Irish, or Puerto Ricans. We are not Presbyterians or Catholics, Baptists or Lutherans. We are not lawyers, or mechanics, teachers or real estate agents. We are not parents, children, aunts, or cousins. We are not old or young, rich or poor.
We are God’s creation. We are gifted with love and compassion and humility. We are awaiting our Savior’s return to bring glory to God in the Kingdom. We wait. We watch. We hope.Is. 63:16b-17, 19b, 64: 2-7 Ps 80: 2-3, 15-16, 18-19 1Cor 1: 3-9 Mk 13: 33-37
- 11/26: Advent Reflection (unitedbyfaith.wordpress.com)
- God Comes To Man (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com)
- 1st Sunday of Advent OTB (johnmsfs.wordpress.com)