This is the exact time in the calendar year when we find ourselves poised on the outer edge of the “holiday season,” and ready to jump. Much has been said and written about the complexities inherent in these next six weeks; a time when high interpersonal expectations meet socio-cultural norms meet consumerism meets long, long “to do” lists. By any measure, it’s a lot. We know it’s a lot because we see some of the negative effects of this season in those around us. We might even feel them some ourselves.
But this is also a time when gratitude meets giving meets relationships meets joy. And God is in the midst of it all. So, some quick reminders as we move into Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas and a new calendar year:
- Pray. Our commitment to being still and knowing that God is God can get lost in busyness. Prayer keeps our hearts open and our focus clear. If nothing else, even just a few minutes of prayer can carve out restorative silence in the midst of stimuli of all sorts.
- Give. Yes, there are many opportunities for financial generosity in November and December. We respond as expansively as we can and, as we are able, we share food with one another and exchange gifts wrapped in boxes. All good. Remember also that the offering of less tangible gifts can be just as important and just as life-giving. Listening to someone who needs to talk or appreciating something or someone that might seem inconsequential can shine light on God’s abiding abundance.
- Gather. We are not alone. Whether the impending holidays excite us or freak us out (or both and, depending on the day), we don’t ever have to experience them by ourselves. Attending worship, volunteering, committing to one of the many different activities at Holy Apostles can assure us of our connection to others; confirming the truth that our part in this community matters. And if you can’t get to the corner of 28th and 9th, let me know and we will bring church to you!
A blessed and holy season of celebration to all–