Expecting Advent

                The voice crying out in the wilderness lately in my house has been me, saying “it’s not Christmas!”  Eva, my daughter is even beginning to mimic me, saying ever time we hear a Christmas song or see Christmas decorations, “it’s not Christmas.”   It began in early November when I tuned my radio to 99.9 and heard of all things, Christmas music!  (That exclamation point is there to signify disgust and not excitement.)  It was strange pulling into my drive way looking at our rotting jack-o-lanterns while hearing, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”  On November 2 while driving home, I noticed a neighbor had put up their Christmas tree and it was beaming light out of their front picture window of their house. 
              Now to temper my view, I have to inform you that I grew up in a house that didn’t put up the Christmas tree until one week before Christmas.  One week.  So seven weeks prior to the day seems very premature to me.
            Harry has joined in and started saying when we enter stores decked out for the holidays, “don’t we have one more holiday to celebrate first?  You know Thanksgiving?”  And I want to say actually two, while the second isn’t really a holiday, it’s a season, Advent.
           Advent, that pesky little season that invites us to wait.  It’s not just one day.  It is typically 25 days long and it begins during a time when our days are growing shorter and we are experiencing more darkness each and every day.  And while it might seem very counter cultural to hear a Christian say it, "it's not Christmas", I'll say it.  We still have two more holidays/seasons to move through.  There is nothing wrong with waiting ...  in fact it is quiet biblical:  The whole notion of waiting.  And while we have a target date to celebrate God coming to us (i.e. Christmas day, December 25th), we all know that God comes to us in unexpected ways at the most unexpected times.  And often times we miss God showing up, because we are busy doing something else and we are not paying attention.
            And so rather than asking in an exasperated sort of way "WHY?"  I have begun to wonder why?  What is it about the Christmas holiday that we desire to get started preparing in late summer/early fall?  It is really all just driven by the consumerism of our culture?  Or are we missing something in our lives?   Is it because we are not okay with waiting?
           We are invited to wait.  To take time and sit with the unknowns of our life.  To be present in the mess and chaos and not just try and problem solve.  But to wait.


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