This used to mean that by now you’d have all your Christmas shopping done, your family events were planned or underway, and you were getting down to wrapping.
However, new thinking is challenging all of that.
The “Advent Conspiracy” is a web page that helps us think of ways to keep our focus on the birth of Christ. http://www.adventconspiracy.org/
It has lots of links and other resources to help us think about what we are really doing by consuming so much, rushing about so much, worrying so much.
It’s part of a trend over the last 10 to 20 years to return our celebrations to their spiritual roots rather then simply give up and “go with the flow.”
The problem comes when you mess with some sacred and cherished
family traditions. Traditions about gift giving and traditions about how much you spend on each other.
Anything less than last year might seem to them that your love has been reduced.
So that’s why it’s important to think of new ways that may become new traditions for the future.
Like sharing in some activities together such as baking, or taking cards around to the neighbors. Perhaps you and your family could join a caroling group that goes to Convalescent and Retirement homes?
Other options include game nights and parties that include the whole family. (I’ve heard that the new Wii is great for all ages!)
And of course there’s the simple joys of reading stories to each other by firelight. (Don’t wait for a power outage to do this. Turn off the TV and read out loud. Endure the wails and howls, but even the protests and heated discussion is a welcome interaction to silently staring at the TV together.)
Christmas can become a creative time that gets people talking to each other again. It’s the beginning of the effort to recapture our closeness with each other.
And that’s exactly what Christ is all about: …bringing us closer to each other by bringing us closer to God.
Jesus answered, “The first is,
‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your mind,
and with all your strength.’
The second is this,
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Is our Christmas activities a measure of how much we love God and others? …Or not?
How have you lived closer to God this day? …this week?
How goes it with your soul?
Grace and Peace, Pastor Terry