This Week at Trinity Beamsville
November 27, 2020
I am writing to you surrounded by chaos. Mary and Joseph have been through so much already, and it isn’t even December yet. They have looped around the Christmas tree on the train, thousands of times already. Jesus has already gone missing (twice!); once I found him just under the refrigerator, the other time he was on Daddy’s dresser, tucked under a kleenex. (It’s a good thing I checked!) I am going to need to teach James about not shaking the baby, because he put poor baby Jesus in his mechanical green John Deere tractor and pressed the “on” button, sending Jesus for quite a bumpy ride. Quite literally, the carol we’ve been singing is “I saw three sheep come sailing past, at supper time, at supper time…” Animals, wise men, ornaments, cheerios and puzzle pieces are strewn across the floor in our home, like casualties of a twisted Hallmark Christmas movie.
It may sound sacrilege, but it’s reality. Much as I may have tried, ours will not the perfect Christmas we might hope for. That’s the case for many different reasons. We mourn that we’ll not likely be able to surround ourselves with family this Christmas, especially those who live out of town. We are aware of many who struggle with deep loneliness. We know of friends and acquaintances who are dealing with underemployment and with what that means for groceries, never mind Christmas lists.
I came across a lovely reminder recently, which said “The first Christmas was quite simple. It’s okay if yours is, too”. What a poignant reminder.
This week’s scripture text does not begin in a place of celebration, or even a place of peace. It is one that begins in a time of chaos, telling of lament and longing, of dreaming of the hope to come. Perhaps that’s a healthy posture in which to begin our Advent journey this year: from a place of longing. What better position could we be in as we light a candle together and wait, hope, pray for hope and light to break through anew.
Looking forward to being together on Sunday, in all the ways we can.
“The use of these ‘psalms of darkness’ may be judged by the world to be acts of unfaith and failure, but for the trusting community, their use is an act of bold faith, albeit a transformed faith. It is an act of bold faith on the one hand, because it insists that the world must be experienced as it really is and not in some pretended way. On the other hand, it is bold because it insists that all such experiences of disorder are a proper subject for discourse with God. Nothing is out of bounds, nothing precluded or inappropriate. Everything properly belongs in this conversation of the heart.”—Walter Brueggemann. Spirituality of the Psalms