The coffee shop is full of chatty people this morning. There is a rather loud din all around me; I was lucky to find a seat! I am ridiculously thankful for my time here on Mondays and Fridays. The shop is aptly named “The Good Cup”. The coffee is good, but the blessing of goodness extends to the friendliness of the patrons and the lack of a need for hipness. I feel at ease and not old, and well, all the things I mentioned the other day.
I am continuing my reading of Madeleine L’Engle.
I was surprised, and yet not completely, by how many friends related to my last post. This feeling of being behind, this feeling of being a bit overwhelmed, and just weighed down with life and all it entails.
Today, reading L’Engle, something has broken a bit for me. This is my Advent reading. It is not the assigned reading by my app on my phone, it is not in place with what we are studying at Church. This does not fall in line with the devotional I have at home that I love but haven’t looked at this season.
I’m reading L’Engle and a bit of Malcom Guite for my Advent reading…and it is working.
Because she is an old friend – I have been reading her for 25 years, and she still speaks to me and enlivens my imagination as she did the first time I picked up one of her books. Now, because the stories she tells and the wisdom she gives is familiar, the enlivening is matched with a familiarity. There is something grand about that joining.
The story is old and amazing, and yet comforting and familiar.
That means, sometimes I can scan the pages because I already know what is coming, and miss something. Or….and this is a big OR…I can soak in the words more deeply because they do not surprise me, but the inform and confirm truths to which I already cling. Her words reaffirm my reality. And it is an amazing reality.
A baby born in a manger changes the world, changes reality, changes everything.
So Sunday morning, or this afternoon, or a 100 times between now and December 25th, when you are reminded of Jesus’ birth…don’t just scan and skip along. Wait. Hear. Really let it affirm to you the reality of a Creator stepping in to His Creation to change everything.
“But we rebel against the impossible. I sense a wish in some professional religion-mongers to make God possible, to make him comprehensible to the naked intellect, domesticate him so that he’s easy to believe in. Every venture the Church makes a fresh attempt to make Christianity acceptable. But an acceptable Christianity is not Christian; a comprehensible God is no more than an idol.”
I told you she was good.
Embrace the Impossible!!! In our weariness, in our burdens, in our to-do lists and overwhelming schedules…embrace the Impossible.
Is it any wonder that Christmas music is so grand?! What a story, friends, what a truth. God has broken in to our reality and set us free. And has done so in such an unpredictable, impossible way.
I am listening to this album while reading and writing this morning, and it makes my heart swell. The songs make my mind work more quickly and my blood pump.
THIS IS ADVENT.
Find yours. What is it that draws you in? What is it that reminds you of the impossible grandness of this familiar story? What is it that makes your blood pump and joy radiate within you?
It is not too late. We still have time, those of us who cannot find our Advent calendars and our elves. There is still time. Today. Find something that draws your attention to the babe in a manger…find something that stirs you. And wait on it. Dwell there for a few minutes. Don’t just scan the moment…don’t just move along.
“This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild,
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d have been no room for the child.”
Let’s embrace a bit of the impossible and irrational, and let’s let our kids see us be swept up in the reality. Let’s draw them in, not to the sparkle of Santa (he’s ok), but to the impossibility of a God in a manger chasing us and changing everything.
As I grow older
I get surer
Man’s heart is colder,
His life no purer.
As I grow steadily
I come less readily
To Christmas each year.
I can’t keep taking
Without a thought
And presents bought
In crowds and jostling.
Alas, there’s naught
In empty wassailing
Where oblivion’s sought.
Oh, I’d be waiting
With quiet fasting
A joy more lasting.
And so I rhyme
With no apology
During this time
Judgment and warning
Come like thunder.
But now is the hour
When I remember
An infant’s power
On a cold December.
Midnight is dawning
And the birth of wonder.
Yes. She’s good.
Now…go find what is going to make this Advent your Advent. And inspire someone around you…draw them in to your joy.