...and it was one week to Christmas. How did that happen? The good news is the 30% off a bunch of Christmas decorations from Target and now the house looks like there might possibly be a holiday coming around the corner.
Really, it's been one of those weeks. Since last Friday: A hard death in the life of the congregation, losing power for four days, having some idiot kick up a rubber brick that smashes into your windshield, and cleaning your entire house for the parsonage Christmas open house. Oy. Praise God that professors abound in mercy this time of year - two incompletes - check, check. I can't think about school until after Christmas.
Christmas. I'm not ready for it. For the past eight years I haven't been ready for it. I am convinced that student life is not conducive to a spiritual advent. Well - at least not in how the season is intended. I surely have had a season of hope and expectation and waiting - for these darn papers to be done and the semester to end! Jesus hasn't really entered my thoughts as of late, unless it's in some desperate prayer -- Dear Jesus, please let the lights come back on -- or as some abstract theological concept -- the Jesus-event re-presented in the Communion meal infuses our own moments of becoming...
But Jesus didn't come when the world was ready. One of my (new) favorite poems is from Madeline L'engle called "First Coming." Essentially, God came down when we needed it - not when we were prepared for it. God came down when life was messy, when things were left undone and unsaid, when people were so much in pain they couldn't find God. And so for me this season, Jesus isn't in the pretty snow or the beautiful carols or the decked out house or in the little manger or in the finished to-do list - but Jesus is in the vibrant chaos, the little light beckoning me out of the darkness, the abundant grace I receive each day to keep moving forward. Jesus comes in the midst of my mess - in the midst of the world's mess - to bring hope, light, and peace.