Friday, December 6, 2013

An Advent Observed

Life is moving a million miles per second. Ministry takes me away from home a lot these days, and as I rack up frequent-voyager miles on my railway card, I'm wondering when I'll ever get a Christmas photo taken, a tree trimmed, or gingerbread men frosted. Meanwhile my boots need to be repaired, my prescriptions need to be refilled, and my dog needs a trip to the groomer.

And into the swirling activity of everyday life comes the wonder-filled season of advent--the blessed anticipation of the dawn of our redemption. 

Laundry needs to be folded. Bills need to be paid. Garbage bins need to be emptied.

The world keeps spinning while angels sing. As I tend my metaphorical flock, will I pause to ponder their song?

The cat has fleas. The refrigerator is leaking. The Christmas letter must be written.

Meanwhile, the God of the universe has wrapped himself  in the envelope of human flesh and mailed himself to a cross. Will I receive this living word?

There are sermons to preach, weddings to witness, conferences to attend. How can it be that a minister does not still herself long enough to appropriately honor the very object of her worship?

Did the shepherds not leave their flocks to marvel at his glory? Shall I care more for mutton than His Majesty?

Perhaps advent can be celebrated in the midst of my everyday life. Lord, as I empty the garbage, remind me that your coming emptied the garbage in my heart. As I fold clothes, remind me that you have clothed me in righteousness. As I pay bills, remind me that when you died on the cross you paid a debt I could not pay.

He made his home on a bed of hay. Perhaps he can make the dirty of stable of my life holy by his presence. 

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