Sunday, December 20, 2009

Anticipation or Relief

Today is the fourth Sunday in Advent and with it a question came to mind: are you feeling a growing sense of anticipation of celebrating the birth of Jesus or anticipating relief that in a few days life will return to normal? Maybe you hadn't thought about that before, how as we get closer to Christmas there is at the same time, for people of faith both a growing sense of the culmination of so much preparation for us to join in celebrating while at the same time for so many Christmas afternoon or evening will bring a sigh of relief that all of the holiday expectations can be put away with the decorations until next year.

Maybe I'm just being a little too cynical this morning, and that's o.k. I guess. It's just that my heart goes out to so many who are working like mad to make their celebrations grand when really the best we can do is give thanks for God's love and for those God has given us. Perhaps our Pilgrim and Puritan forebears were right in de-emphasizing this holy day in favor of others; because if we can't keep straight what it is we are to be about in these next few days as well as throughout the rest of the year then maybe we really have lost our way.

I don't know. Maybe I sometimes wish that I too could have some of the wonder of childhood back. Watching Eric's eyes grow wide the closer we get and seeing him really live faith, albeit faith in Santa, is amazing to behold. Granted, there's nothing all that bad about his faith in Santa, after all his faith in Jesus is stronger and it seems to me that what he believes of Santa is generosity, love, and many other gifts that God bestows upon us. So maybe that's how I'll answer my own question, that is, I'll join with Eric in his childhood faith in Santa and allow my anticipation to build throughout the next week but I will also breathe a sigh of relief as December turns to January that my little boy's faith is still in tact.


  1. What you say about Eric's faith remaining intact after the chaos has died down is so comforting - a good reminder to all of us who fear it sometimes gets misplaced amidst the wrapping paper flotsam. How empty a feeling it must be for those who don't know the true hope and spirit, and enduring faith.