I'm spending some study time at the beach. Actually I've jumped the gun by half a week, but feeling the need to get started on my Advent series. I've never planned to preach the stuff leading up to Christmas while sitting in the sun and listening to the crashing surf. But that's just my world. Below the equator, Christmas is at the beginning of summer every year.
And that is what is on my mind: How are my romanticized memories and fixed pictures of what Christmas is all about, how are they "stuck?" What can I not see due to my habitual approach to this holiday? What truths are lacking in my frame of reference? I don't want to preach some western, material-based vision of this day. I find myself praying--Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord. (Also the staple Sufi prayer, by the way.)
I'm thinking of those tending herds at home, or harvesting corn and beans in their fields by night, frightened not by the appearance of angels, but by their bad crop. I'm wondering who will tell them there is one born worthy of their worship. I'm praying for that woman in her latest marriage who once again realizes this is not prince charming. I'm praying for children who will receive no hint of Jesus this season with their many gifts...purchased on credit by parents who are spending their way into financial oblivion.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not recieve him. That's what is on my mind.