As the days wind down and the craziness begins of unwrapping presents and attending multiple family dinners, I want to get something out. This year, Christmas has not been the holiday I was expecting. Initially, it was because this is my first married Christmas, so I was seeking flashing lights and pretty wrapped ribbon. But I have begun to discover and understand so much more… hopefully some of this will sound insightful.
My observations mostly surround the idea of preparation. This year, I missed 3 of the 4 advent weeks at church. Despite advent being completely tradition, I do think it is important. And I was clinging so much to making sure I celebrate Thanksgiving that I had no time to break in between and collect myself for the holidays. So my “holiday spirit”, if you may call it that, took a few weeks to get going (Less setting up the lights because i LOVE holiday lights.) And may it also had something to do with Hanukkah happening at Thanksgiving os I was a little mentally off. But now, as I look back at the last few weeks and also at our rehearsal today for Christmas Eve service, our pastor reminded us that rehearsal is worship too. Which made me remember that preparation is worship as well and that sometimes an important and deep, thought provoking holiday sometime needs some mental preparation, even if it is tradition.
Also, the “holiday spirit” that people talk about–well, they didn’t talk about it this year. IT was all about shopping and complaining about the shopping. No joy, no “amazing angel singing” concept. Today in church the topic was about the angels and their importance, their arrival, their PRAISE. Maybe because I had not attend church in several weeks, I now know the physical, mental and emotional disconnection lack of attendance in my church community can form. I am really now looking forward to Christmas Eve.
Speaking of that–today we had our rehearsal. Though the choir is only singing one song by themselves, it is going to be a wonderful service. And one of the nice items I am looking forward to is the singing of Joy to the World. Typically christmas eve services end with silent night, the reminder that the small came into the world to bring about the powerful and yet this is NOT where the Birth Narrative ends in the BIble. We always forget the shepherds in the fields, the angels singing and praising and the joyful celebration of the arrival of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.