Although we are only in the second week of Advent, in my house (maybe in yours too), we broke our “not until after Thanksgiving” rule when it came to Christmas preparations. Weeks ago, we began to put up the lights, decorate the Christmas tree, address Christmas cards, and even did some gift shopping. Our urge to begin preparations early had nothing to do with commercialism or efficiency, but more to do with an aching need for the days of Advent and Christmas to allow us to feel different than any other day. The past nine months have been a weird blend of monotony and mayhem, in which days have blended into weeks and weeks into months without clear markers of time.
The things which might have marked this season in years past will most likely and probably should not be a part of this year’s celebrations. And so, I believe there is in all of us a deep need to make sure this season does not pass without us noticing it and without us experiencing a reprieve from the ordinary, as well as the unordinary of our lives. We may feel a deep need to experience a glimmer of what some may name as “magic” or “sparkle” of the season, but what is for us, as people of faith, what we simply name as hope.
It is a hope that we will discover a peace
despite discord and strife.
It is a hope that we will discover a joy
despite tribulation and despair.
It is a hope that we will discover a love
despite indifference and hatred.
It is a hope that we will discover there really is, as we proclaim---a reason to hope
in something better,
something more beautiful,
something more promising,
So, go ahead.
Prepare the way.
Dare to hope.
Through the Christ child…
And ultimately Love conquers all.
Blessings, Rev. Shana Johnson
ISC Conference Minister