It's That Time of Year
It’s when? The Sunday coming up is Advent IV? It can’t be. But yes it can be … yes it is! And my eyes begin to roll in frustration…
But it’s the way it is, is it not. The most significant events somehow sneak up on us when we’re not paying attention. And it’s not as though we’ve not been warned, either. And it’s not just the Festival Celebration of the birth of Jesus: although that, too, comes with any number of warnings. The days are getting notably shorter every day; it’s getting colder, as well. The weather in Colorado includes high winds and blowing snow; that means that we sort of know what the weather will be like in Minnesota tomorrow! (You know the old joke: if want to know what the weather will be like this afternoon, call friends who live a few hours west of you and ask them what it’s like outside right now!) But yet, we’re surprised, caught off guard: we knew it would happen, but we were not expecting it to come this soon! When I complained to my doctoral supervisor about the work of getting a dissertation done, he merely harrumphed and said, “I don’t know: the only reason that as many sermons get written as do, is that Sundays have a habit of coming around with amazing regularity,”
And those Sundays come around in the midst of everything else that has to be done …
I don’t know what you’re doing right now: I happen to be unpacking after a move and putting away what I find … and also waiting to find what I know must be somewhere in the pile of boxes in the living room. OK: the coffee pot surfaced, and it was unbroken! Chalk that item off! But isn’t it time for the box with pillows in it to come to the top? How about the box with hangers so I can hang up the clothes that I uncovered two days ago? And, between unpacking’s frustration (Good grief! Why on earth did I ever keep that?) and fun (Oh! I must have been looking for that for the last decade!), Christmas is absolutely, unstoppably almost here: no matter how Grinchy my circumstances make me:
He couldn’t keep Christmas from coming: It came!
Somehow or other it came just the same!
But is that not the message of the lessons for Advent? Something significant is on the way, and whatever it is that you are preoccupied with, it’s going to come! Ready or not, it’s going to come. The news is bad? You’re worried about the weather? You’ve got a social schedule that won’t quit?
Whatever, but heed the warnings, and get ready to celebrate an unstoppable, earthshaking event. It’s that time of the year! And the news that the blessed event brings is breathtakingly, almost unbelievably Good. It’s bigger than me unpacking boxes and finding the hangers and pillows that I’m looking for. It’s about the lion lying down with the lamb, about the end of hunger and the coming of enough-ness for all.
The Rev. Allen Heggen