It is not even one week into December, and already the craziness is getting to me. I missed the middle schools National Junior Honor Society inductions (a bunch of my kids were inducted) because I had the wrong time. I have a busy weekend ahead of me, and of course I'm preaching. There's something every minute almost. I've already been to two Christmas parties, declined 2 more, and just got invited to another. And I don't know how many are on my calendar. I have Christmas shopping to do; I got a lot done last week but I'm not quite finished. Ben and I had the brilliant idea to pass on to Jamie the Exceptional a child's wooden table and chairs that were his when he was a child--of course they have to be sanded and painted and polyurethaned, and it's cold outside, and when we thought we would get that done I don't quite know.
Whew. What a bunch of stuff. And it's all important, and it will all get done, or not, and it will be okay either way.
What I'm trying to keep my mind and heart focused on this Advent is the miracle and mystery of Christ's coming. I'm looking at John the Baptist, and the contrast between him and Jesus. John's the last of the OT prophets, preaching confession and repentance, to be sure, tempered with judgment and condemnation. And then there's Jesus, who changes everything, who preaches repentance and redemption, laden with love and grace. As busy as I am, I keep reminding myself that it's not about me, not about my schedule, not about all the things I have to do, not about going to every Christmas party, not about what Ben calls the need to "be happy for the whole month". Instead it's about God's love, and other people, and being both gifted and giver, however I am able.
So here's to holiday peace, however we find it--in a few stolen moment blogging, a doctored cup of egg nog, listening to a favorite carol, spending time with someone you care for. Here's to Christ's coming, once two thousand years ago, and whenever he might return. Here's to love and grace and mercy, still in all-too-short supply, and to us, who are called upon, by the Spirit, to bring it into the world.
Happy Christmas, ya'll!