Just off Hanging of the Greens worship, the season seems promising! Such beauty in Scripture, symbols, and song! What a wonderful day!

And then I went home.

Boxes all over. A tree half-decorated. How many daily Advent readings am I behind — already? The boxed Christmas cards finally arrived, but when now will I find time for sending season’s greetings? Meetings coming up. Another worship service already to plan. What happened to that wide-open space my heart and head seemed to hold just yesterday?

Am I the only one who feels this way this time of year? Surely I must be. Because Christmas is my day job. (For pastors, our work is about preparing the feast of Advent and Christmas for everyone else — this being one of the two biggest, busiest seasons of the church year!) Or maybe it’s NOT just me and you too find yourself pulled in many different directions during these days — even if life has been modified drastically amid CoVid this Advent.

I reminded someone else just the other day to be grace-filled with herself when she slipped from her self-care commitments. It’s time to honor all we each are going through as we adjust, adjust, adjust. Maybe feeling ourselves a bit depleted by what seems like an eternity since last Advent. And maybe, just maybe, it’s time we let a few things slide. Life won’t end if the Christmas tree remains half-decorated. Christmas only begins on the evening of December 24. We liturgically-minded Christians have 12 full days of Christmas until Epiphany on 6 January. If Christmas wishes aren’t sent until the actual season of Christmas, your friends and family might think you’re a bit odd to be living by a different calendar — but don’t we? Isn’t Advent our time to be waiting and watching and preparing our spirits for the birth of Christ within?

So maybe we re-prioritize so we truly will be prepared to celebrate this Christmas. What’s really going to get you ready to welcome the new birth on Christmas? How each of us answers this question, becomes our next step.

As for me, I think I’ll light a candle (at Howard Thurman’s beautiful reminding). Time to pause with that Presbyterian Mission Advent & Christmas Devotional. Click here to read along: Day 9 – Holding on to Hope. I think I’ll find that Hope Rope — literally to hold on to hope. Sounds good to me!

Try it with me: pause. Prioritize. Re-align!

Peace for week 2 of Advent!

Pastor Jule

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