Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Life in Advent

So it is advent. It has been since November 30. We began with a wonderful Christmas at Home event at church on November 29 that included Advent Workshops, a Crock Pot-Luck Dinner, A Hanging of the Greens Service, and watching Christmas movies.
Maybe its been that advent came quickly after Thanksgiving, maybe its that my daughters have been constantly sick- at least for the past two months. Maybe I just took on too much this advent...or all of the above, but I am tired. So tired.
Advent is about waiting.
Awaiting the day that Christ came into the world, awaiting for Christ's return.
Peace- the prince of Peace came into this world and I have felt as if I am waiting for peace to come. I will breathe a sigh of relief Christmas Eve-- all of my bulletins will be done, the sermons written, the bible studies will come to a close. People will still be in the hospital and in prison, in need of visitation, people will still come in hungry for food, shelter, jobs. But the hectic pace will slow...
But what I've really learned is that I need to slow the pace down within me. (Like I didn't already know that, right?)
Today I meditated on Isaiah 35: 3-8
I was especially moved by verses 4-5:“ Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped."
I felt a sense of relief, Christmas is coming.
And I know-- Christ has come to open my eyes and unstop my ears.
I need to be unstopped from all the chaos that has filled-- all the stuff I've allowed to fill my overflowing plate...
Sunday night I went to worship at our contemporary service and they sang "Away in a Manger." Here is a song I've heard all my life- but on this night I heard it and realized that in the first verse of the song- it is us rocking Baby Jesus and by the second verse we are being rocked by God.
I needed that too.
I needed to remember that God is rocking me.
And I did.
God is holding me- I don't need to hold all this stuff. I don't need to own it. I don't need to take it on. I can let myself become unstopped and truly hear God.

We have a Christmas Comfort Service - this is our third year doing it.
Many churches have a Blue Service- and this is our version... except it isn't just for folks who are grieving, its for anyone and everyone who has become swept away or stressed in the busyness of the season and needs to be still, become unstopped, rest and feel God's comfort, peace, and healing. I am looking forward to it- while I'm leading it and preaching it- I too am in need of God's wholeness. I am ready to feel the peace of Christ who comes to us as an infant (in need as any baby, unable to care for himself) and He comes ready to give us all we need.

Setting my mind on the Spirit

 It's the first week of Lent.  I decided I wanted to write and reflect more for Lent.   Years ago-- I wrote on this blog more often and ...