As December looms, all brightly lit on the horizon and the madness of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the forgotten Remembrance day ceremony fades into memory, crazy simply accelerates for many people.
My beloved and I try to be intentional with where we spend time and energy. I suppose it is a habit formed of necessity when sojourning in the camp of the deathly ill. It is easy to become a slave to the agenda book until the agenda book is completely usurped by merely staying alive. But there are blessings to be found there too.
The last several years, Christmas has been a quiet affair full of wonder, the peace of reflection and a few carefully chosen meaningful activities. Travel was not a question, frequent outings, social events and “extras” not an option, and we came to look forward to quiet evenings by the Christmas tree, drinking tea by the fire thinking, talking, and reading together.
But perhaps the biggest blessing of stillness is space to allow Christmas to be what it is intended to be:
Suspended time and space to allow the soft wonder of the divine visitation. To let the eternal plan for peace on earth and the favour of God bestowed on mankind by the sacrifice of the Trinity to sink in. The gentle communion between the God who cares deeply, and the creation that need Him desperately.
Time for children’s questions and meaningful reflection. Space for sharing moments together, enjoying the fellowship of family and close friends. And perhaps the most difficult to enter, but the most rewarding to partake of; stillness in the presence of the King who was a babe.
Somehow “Silent Night, Holy Night” has become “Hectic Night, Stressful Night” and the memory of a manger becomes the allure of last minute mall trips and Christmas parties.
It is so like our world to capitalize on something full of meaning, and try to exchange meaning for consuming. It is the human propensity to take what is meant to honour another to gratify ourselves.
As Advent begins I am again challenged by what choices we will make this Christmas season. How will we honour the King of Kings on His birthday? How will we make it about the One who gave up everything to give us everything that means anything? What will we choose to put our energy and time into now that I am stronger?
This year, we decided to do a few small things: Invite some lonely people over, put up a small Christmas tree, look at what we can give to honour Jesus and His Kingdom for His birthday, and spend time in worship, prayer, and fellowship. To say no a lot, and take time to appreciate the unimaginable repurcussions of that one blessed night!
What can you not do this Advent season to initiate time and space for stillness and wonder? How can you and your family bring honour and meaning to the birthday of the One to whom we owe everything?