The days in between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day hold a place for waiting and celebration. November 28th marked the beginning of Hanukkah and for Christians, Advent. From November 28th to December 24th, we climb the stairs to our attics and pull out the boxes filled with all the trimmings.
As we drive through neighborhoods, we witness lights trimming our rooftops, nativity scenes and reindeer staked into our lawns. We make donations to organizations caring for the vulnerable amongst us and ask our loved ones what is on their wish list for this year.
In our faith community, we provide gifts to the Love Tree, the women of The Sophia Way, warm hats for the men of CFH. We make year-end donations to our mission partners, helping to make their important work possible in the world.
The gift provided for each of us during this season of Advent is two-fold: the waiting of Jesus’ birth and the discovery of Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. I have noticed this year the complexity of waiting and claiming at the same time. How do we await a birth even as we live into its manifestation amongst us?
Holding the belief that our spiritual lives are like that of an onion, I reflect upon the process of peeling it. The stinging in our eyes, next flowing tears and then its truest essence as we get to its core. We claim the process of peeling even as we await the flavor it brings to a recipe which badly needs it or gladly welcomes it.
Certainly, our lives, spiritual and otherwise, include more than the tears brought about by the peeling of an onion. Gratitude lists are filled with the blessing of vaccinations for our young children, for the gatherings of families and friends, for the ability to gather in worship together as we celebrate through the spoken word, the choir singing, the bells playing.
As we await the re-birth of Jesus, may this Season of Advent be filled with adventure and discovery for each of you.