OK, so I haven't posted much lately. This is my usual drill as we get church back up and running. This year has been a busy one for the staff. For a variety of reasons we are taking more things on and we are still getting by. It's just that some other things have fallen by the wayside...like regular Burbania postings. Now we are kicking it up a notch. Winter is coming. So, too, are the holidays. One of my tasks is to find ways to remind people to pace themselves. People in the office will have to hear my pedantic lecturing on this topic. Everyone else has to settle for columns and sermons.
In the newsletter column below I imply that my Advent begins on the traditional "First Sunday". For the most part this is true. However I do indulge myself a bit with the Christmas Tubas. Here is a picture. I have some sound, too, but that will have to wait for my Facebook Advent Calendar that begins on Sunday! That is Faneuil Hall reflected in the tuba bells by the way...
Here is the column...
Dear Eliot Members and Friends,
Yesterday I took some time out to look for the parsonage Christmas lights. It appears we are late decorating again. I am not surprised, of course. We are always late. This year, though, I thought more people would be waiting for Advent to actually begin.
My problem is that I can never figure out the rush. After all, it isn't actually “Christmastime”. It isn't even Advent until Sunday and Advent isn't Christmas! At least in the eyes of the church it doesn't become Christmas until December 25. It's time--the “twelve days” celebrated in song—begins then. Yes, on the 26th the stores will be busy changing out the colors to sell champagne for New Year's Eve, but that doesn't change this basic fact. By the time the actual Christmas season arrives many people are too tired to celebrate anymore and are just looking forward to the moment they can go back to work or school. How depressing is that?
Many of us, I suspect, find ourselves moving too fast already. When this happens, lights, decorations, and Christmas planning in general can become a burden rather than a joy. We don't really need to worry. The important thing is not to scramble the spirit out of the season before it ever really has a chance to grow. Doing less may make this time mean more.
Maybe, instead of letting our holiday season be dictated by the commercial interests, we should pay attention to the older division of this time. There is a wisdom to the ancient cycle that pre-dates Christianity. It is done at a human speed and addresses those larger concerns we wish we had time to consider. This Sunday we will light the candles in the windows of our sanctuary during worship. We do this every year to welcome Advent. It is the beginning. It is the first step. This holiday let us walk it together rather than sprint through it alone.
I hope you make it a point to come to church this month. It is a special time in our congregation. It would be great to spend it together. We would love to see you there.
Faith and Hope,