Stupid people make baby Jesus cry, a friend of mine says. Most stores already have the signs up, “Merry Christmas!” Most folks have started to focus on the gifts they will receive or give. Christmas carols blare from the most pagan of places. Few things dare declare the real reason for Christmas.
Unfaithful people cannot find Jesus hiding behind the door. For us, Advent always come before Christmas, though increasingly for many Christmas is right after Thanksgiving. All of this is okay. For those who take the road less travelled to Christmas, we observe Advent best by acknowledging that many will ignore the gold and choose what glitters. Compassion is the best response, because we know that quite frequently, we are guilty of idolatry of all kinds. We, too, throw out the baby. We, too, forget about Jesus throughout the year. Why are we surprised at the faithfulness of the unfaithful? We are unfaithful too.
Faithful people still follow the Star with the hope of finding God. Advent calls us to begin again faithfully. Advent calls us to weep over where we have not been honest. Advent calls us to read and reinterpret why we live. Advent calls us to re-examine the election and our political thoughts and affiliations. Advent calls us to pay more attention to the issues. Advent call us to begin again. Advent, that great season, invites us to stop, dance, read a new book, repent, write poetry, love the wrong people, make mistakes, stop being perfect, and… and wait… and reorient…
Godly people allow God to let them go. How does Sandy affect your Advent? How does the conflict between Israel and Palestine affect your thoughts about Advent and Christmas? How does Advent make you more generous? How does Advent scare you? Should it?
Spiritually mature folks listen to God. Advent calls us to listen and to read. I try to listen to many poets (known and unknown). Rumi is one of the poets I quote a lot on my Facebook page. I find these words from Rumi a great way to begin Advent (almost wrote Lent):
“The breeze at dawn has secrets for you
Don’t go back to sleep
You must ask for what is most important for you
People go back and forward across the doorsill
Where two worlds will embrace
The door is wide and always open
Please, do not return to Sleep”.
There are four Sundays of Advent. Take your time. Take your Time. Take Advent.