Welcome to the Monday Mailing #35 –
I have drained the first cup of coffee, and I am still staring at a mostly blank screen. I know I need another cup, mostly to wake up, and I know this is what happens when I go without a nap on Sunday afternoon. I admit, I got engrossed in what I was doing, and a nap escaped me. This is what happens when you mess with a well-laid plan.
We are creatures of habit, after all. I need my morning coffee, although the real effects of it won’t kick in until later in the day (or night, if I don’t stop at the right time!). For you it may be your morning ablution, or a walk, or even listening to the radio. We are creatures of habit. . .good habits, and not-so-good habits. For many Novembers my friends on Social Media have done a November Thanks Post every day. . .what they are thankful for in their lives. I get to November and it is over half-way through before I realize we’ve changed months.
One month I try to get it right is December. And I mostly do, because I plan to “get it right.” Some years, like this one, Advent starts late in November (the 29th) and I really have to plan or I will miss it. I usually plan to be more mindful during the month. I plan to take in all that December and Advent hold. I set up the wreath (a simple black metal wreath with “Bethlehem” cut outs on the sides. . .four votive candles fit in it. . .and with the Kitty-Boys, four small candles are about all I can use! I make a plan to listen to the Christmas section of Messiah by Handel, and Vivaldi’s Gloria in D major – both of which I sang when I was in college and a member at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, in Pasadena, CA. I sing through the Advent Hymns in our hymnals. . .and then, as we near the end of Advent, begin singing through the Christmas Carols, just for good measure. I pay attention to the O Antiphons from December 17-24 – Google it, but the hymn, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, is part of the O Antiphons. (And I have pictures from the O Antiphon Chapel beneath the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem!) Each one-a-day “O” presents us with wonderful images of God. I try to wrap present with Kitty-Boys all around, and sometimes even manage to cook, bake or prepare some treats for the season. I am crocheting like mad, and this year think that knitting like mad will make its way into my days. And I listen to “Holly” on my car radio. If there is not intentionality about the season, it can slip away and we are left with a certain emptiness about it all.
So, consider your habit for the upcoming season. Four weeks – 27 days this year – how will you approach the Holy Season differently? How will you engage your spirit with the Great Spirit and be ready to celebrate in new and different ways? This Advent and Christmas will be different from all the others, simply by being the Great Advent and Christmas of 2020. With smaller circles and different ways of approaching the Holy Days, how will they be different, in a good way, for you this year? How, indeed.
With great thanksgiving, and lots of peace –
to share joys and concerns before Sunday worship.