Happy Monday, Friends! Today we return to our series drawing inspiration from the Gospel canticles. The Song of Zachariah continues: “Thus God has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered God’s holy covenant, the oath that they swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve them without fear, in holiness and righteousness before God all our days,” (Luke 1:72-75).
Two weeks from yesterday is the first Sunday of Advent, the season which calls us to slow down and make room in our lives and in our hearts for the arrival of Jesus on Christmas. Particularly this year, we need time to slow down, to recollect ourselves, and to live a little more quietly. Ok, who am I kidding? The next month-and-a-half are six of the busiest weeks of the year. We have Thanksgiving to prepare, holiday shopping to complete, Giving Tuesday to promote—you can give to LOVEboldly at www.loveboldly.net/give and remember we have $10,000 match challenge—we have Christmas and Hanukkah parties to prepare for and host, we have a Done Duck* session to either push or block legislation, and hopefully during all of that we’re supposed to find time to slow down.
The Rev. Annwn Myers, one of the chaplains at Sewanee while I was a student, was a big advocate of slowing down during Advent. She used to hang signs in random places around the chapel saying, “Slow down, it’s Advent.” As Advent went on she’d also hide little handwritten notes, “Remember it’s Advent” in places where only one or a few people would see them (I found a few on the hanger for my cassock and surplice and they appeared on the organ stops from time-to-time).
Advent starts in two weeks and so does the busiest time of many of our years. If we want to slow down for Advent then we need to start now. Plan to slow down and manifest that intention. Do some shopping and planning now so that you have less to do later. Whatever you do and whether you do it for spiritual or other reasons, take the time to breathe during Advent and the holidays.
Will you slow down for Advent? Will you take time to breathe?
Let us pray: God, grant us the time to sit and breathe, to center ourselves in the season. Help us slow down even as obligations pull us in many directions. Keep us grounded in the many moments with family and friends. We ask this through your holy name. Amen.
Blessings on your weeks, my friends. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
*In political discussions the term “lame duck” is often used to describe the period between an election and when a new group of elected officials are inaugurated. Because “lame” is an ableist term, I’m using one of the alternative phrases suggested by Kelonnie Harris in her article “Non-Ableist Alternatives to the Phrase ‘Lame Duck.’”