Advent 4 :: The most difficult time of the year!

With apologies to Andy Williams:

It’s the most difficult time of the year.
With end times’ foreboding fuss
Angel choirs goading us:
“Have you no fear!”
It’s the most difficult time of the year.

It’s the sap, sappiest season of all.
With Gabriel’s telling
a poor virgin’s dwelling
with God is no ball!
It’s the sap, sappiest season of all.

Isn’t that how the song goes? Maybe not, but it’s sometimes how this stretch of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas seems to go for many people: a mixture of end time prophecy of doom and gloom with smarmily sweet, overly sentimental tales of a baby born in a manger of a virgin girl and her beloved. And let’s not forget the hubbub of shopping, baking, cleaning, decorating, partying, squabbling, over-indulging, and general craziness that the commercialization of the season has morphed into. In just a few short weeks the carcass of the yule tree will replace that of the Thanksgiving turkey in the dustbin of memory of yet another holiday season we’ve barely survived.

But give yourself a break this coming week. Sometime in the midst of last minute things-I’ve-got-to-do-now-or-Christmas-will-be-ruined take a few moments to catch your breath and remind yourself what is really important: God’s promise of Emmanuel—“God with us”—still holds true. As crazy as we’ve allowed this world to become through our hubris and neglect, as violent, oppressive, degrading, and destabilizing our society seems to be, God is with us. Redeeming us. Holding out the promise of peace. 

God’s Yes! in the Gospel contains God’s No! to the world we humans have created. What hope there is in that!

Link to RCL Lectionary for Advent 4

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