Friday, December 8, 2017



Here we are, well into the Christmas/Holiday Season. In the 'old' days, a couple of generations ago and beyond, 'Christmas' came on December 25, and was prepared for mainly in the previous week. Most Christians in that culture, and society in general, at least gave lip-service to the traditional season of Advent, the four weeks before Christmas. The idea of Advent was two-fold. Firstly, it was seen by the Church as a time of preparation for the coming (again) of the Christ Child, a time to give thanks that once more we could give thanks to the loving God that we wouldn't have to burn in hell because God was going to send us His Son to die for us.
The second aspect of Advent was that it provided a time to expect the unexpected, to search for and be open to the 'Holy' being experienced in yet unknown ways. While this hope was talked about, in reality it was directly opposite to the first. In all truth, it is impossible to be open to anything new if one's attention is consumed by what is assumed and known. But the idea of a time given for questioning and openness is one that needs consideration.
With the commercialization of Christmas and the watering-down of Christianity in general, Advent is gone. But just think, even for a few minutes of the idea, that the 'Holy', however dreamed or believed, is here for us, waiting to be found, experienced and shared, not only in the unusual, but in the ordinary and every-day. Even in a birth of yet another poor and illegitimate child in a conquered and poverty stricken people.
In this culture it is most uncommon and even threatening for people to share their deeper understandings and questions. Even in church we leave this to the professionals. So again, year after year, we become more isolated and ill-at-heart. Just imagine that once a year, for a few weeks, we gave each other the permission, and even the hope, of not only searching for the 'holy', but to share this with each other. Whether Christian, Jew, of Islam or Buddha, Agnostic or Atheist, to look for what is beyond, to be able to ponder and share.
Just to have a time in which we contemplate the possibility that there is more to life than the size of our bank accounts or home, THIS in itself would be a real change.
As it is, as we all know, this time of year has no time for anything more than just making it through. It's more than filled with family and traditions, good stuff all, but no time for More, for any real searching and newness. Such a shame. So stupid on our parts.
Sadly, I don't see any place on the calender for such a happening. And who sees the need for anything like this, anyway? And it is sad, for only a true Advent People, people who can search and share together, can start to make changes that will lead to life and break the spiral of fear and greed on which we're spinning.
For the few traditionalists, and futurists, where ever you are, Here's to a new Advent! May we start to gather in our searchings and sharings! Here's to the journey, and may we not let 'Christmas' stop us!


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