Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advent Calendars & Amos

This morning I awoke to the sound of Kathy egging Eric on about what new special thing he would get to do starting today. He had all sorts of guesses and it took him awhile to remember that this being the first day of December meant he could begin opening his Advent Calendar.

I'm sure most of you have had Advent calendars with little doors that open up revealing either symbols of the season or maybe even a little treat. I remember being especially fond of the chocolate Advent calendars as a child, but with a little sister that meant that we alternated days of opening the little doors. In our family's case, Kathy last year made one out of twenty-five little tins that reveal chocolate, legos, and this year a Bakugan!

And so I was reminded that, if I can remember, I might try and blog through Advent using the daily lectionary and other sources. And boy what a surprise to read Amos today. I mean, I've been thinking about how the sermon might unfold with this coming Sunday being the Second Sunday of Advent with Luke's introduction of John the Baptist and how people have mixed feelings about having to run headlong into John in their Advent/Christmas preparations, but he's nothing compared to Amos.

Amos' word from the Lord makes John's "voice crying out in the wilderness" seem rather tame. Which makes me wonder about whether or not we really understand the prophetic voice, especially at this time of year. Sure, some Christians will get upset about all the Santas and Reindeers and Elves and cry out "Jesus is the reason for the season." But really, do any of us think that will make a difference? With all the suffering in this world, what does it matter whether or not people focus too much on Santa?

Maybe instead of getting all worked up about decorations or the greetings people extend to us we should look out for words from the Lord that we see in those around us whether or not they claim any faith or not. After all, God doesn't want our self-righteous indignation, but rather the gift of our heart in response to God's gift of Jesus and then our sharing of ourselves for those in need.

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