Friday, December 19, 2008

Rev Gal Blog Pal Friday Five: Countdown to Christmas Edition

From RevGalBlogPals:

It's true.

There are only five full days before Christmas Day, and whether you use them for shopping, wrapping, preaching, worshiping, singing or traveling or even wishing the whole darn thing were over last Tuesday, there's a good chance they will be busy ones.
So let's make this easy, if we can: tell us five things you need to accomplish before Christmas Eve.

1. Preach a sermon on Sunday. The bulletins and everything else for morning worship is done. Except for my sermon. But, it's only Friday... I'm going with Isaiah 9:2-7, even though it's technically the Christmas Eve text. We've had a very non-lectionary (and very non-adventy) advent; at least it feels that way to me.

2. Wrap some gifts that we're donating to help a family out in need this Christmas. We're not doing gifts ourselves, but that doesn't mean we can't help out people who really would like presents this year!

3. Decorate/Clean/Make Presentable the House. The Open Parsonage Christmas Thingy is tomorrow and we need to not look completely like poor students with dorm furniture and books and papers everywhere for at least 3 hours. And like Christmas is somewhat around the corner.

4. Put together the Christmas Eve service. Fortunately, the service itself doesn't look too difficult to put together.

5. Make Chex Mix! Christmas isn't Christmas without Chex Mix. Well, that and those nuts in the shell that you crack and are so delicious.

I'm going to take the liberty of adding a bonus question: What is one thing that won't get done before Christmas?

Sending Christmas cards. Again. I'm such a loser. :-P

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I blinked...

...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.