I am not good at planning ahead. It is something everybody knows about me. Sure, there are discreet areas of my life where I am very organized. Mostly, however, it is a rush to the wire. Right now I am shoring up the order of service for Christmas Eve. It looks fine. As I mentioned yesterday, there are few variations. The biggest one is who does the readings.
Yes, I am a bit behind in this part of the holidays, but that is not what I am talking about. Also, church Christmas cards may not get out until after Christmas starts...or never. That is not what I am talking about either. The reasons for the lateness in this area are easily explained by the chaos of the last two weeks. I posted about it. You can read through the Advent collection to find out what I mean.
No, the problem is that I should have had a backup plan for today's installment of the Sabbath Walks Advent Calendar that you are reading right now. The fact is, I had planned to report on the annual Eliot Church Solstice Carol sing. However I cannot. I didn't go. You see, we have an unfolding Covid situation in my family and it seemed the best course of action not to potentially infect people. I think we made the right choice by staying home. Still...I miss it. It was easier in 2020 to miss things. Now there is so much FOMO whenever I cannot be in a place.
I guess that is what we are talking about today. The Fear Of Missing Out is real all the time, but very telling during the holidays. Those things we get used to doing or those fun one-off events are what give the time its special feel. However, even before the plague we had to cancel from time to time. Each time it is hard. For me, I can go without a lot of the movies and shopping. I can even be good with missing worship. What gets me, though, is when I cannot see people.
There are individuals I only see one or two times a year. This season is almost always one of those times. I think this is true for most people. When I was a kid, my parents always held a big holiday party at some point in the season. Some of the people who came were close friends that were in and out of our lives on a regular basis. Others just came to the party and it was fun to see them. I miss that. I miss the gatherings. The Solstice Carol sing is a gathering, even though I know that I will greet all those people again soon enough.
I spent the evening by our Christmas tree, looking at seed catalogs. Yeah, I am planning ahead for the spring garden. It is what gets me through winter. I hope that you made it to just as many events as you required. I hope you took in the silent time, too. Either way, we need to remember to reinforce the bonds that hold humans close, even if it is difficult. Good luck on all your plans and all your relationships as we speed to the finish.
I am a full-time pastor in a small, progressive church in Massachusetts. This blog is about the non-church things I do to find spiritual sustenance.