The nice thing about being in school is that a break over the Christmas season allows this to truly be a time to stop and rest. Having worked at a church the last few years, I’m not taking this time for granted. I know, in fact, that this could be the last Christmas season in a long, long time that I’m not busily preparing for celebrating Christ’s birth planning services, sermons, and gatherings, etc. This year I am allowed to calmly prepare for Christ’s coming, waiting and watching for God at work in the world.
My own personal ‘liturgical renewal’ (inspired by Worship class) is causing me to explore ways to keep advent “Advent” this year, and then celebrate Christmas in full when the 12 day Christmas festival begins, on Dec 25. How to do this? I haven’t quite figured that out yet. But I know Advent should remain a time of quiet, reflective, fervent prayer; a time spent in darkness awaiting a great light. Perhaps it involves setting aside time each day for study and prayer, especially for the needs of the world. Maybe reflecting on ways Christ’s coming and his Gospel addresses those needs. And then Christmas is a time of gathering with friends and family, celebrating the true hope that Christ brings into the world.
I pray this time of beginnings includes some time of true rest for you as well.