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Tag Archives: peace
This morning I was standing in line at the cash register at a local store. There was Christmas music playing in the background, and I became aware that all three of us in line were toe tapping etc. to the music. I noted this to them and suggested that it must mean that it was early in the season as later on we would likely be complaining about being tired of hearing it. We had a nice chuckle, and one of the women noted that it wasn’t even December yet. When I commented that Advent starts tomorrow one of the women asked what I’m giving up. I said that we give things up for Lent and not Advent, and that it is a good thing! That got me thinking…
We actually give up many things during Advent don’t we?
We give up common sense with respect to our eating habits. Our best intentions with respect to eating healthfully typically go out the window as the chocolate, candy and home-baked sweets are set out to tempt us, and big family dinners go on and on!
We give up on our budgets as we buy special clothing for Christmas parties, and get caught up in all the Christmas shopping hype. Out come our credit cards and we lose track quickly of how even really great prices can be too much if you buy too many things.
Neither of those are good for us, but there are more things given up during Advent and Christmas…
We relax those tight fists on our purse strings and donate more to charities and causes. Knowing this it is the main time of year for organizations such as World Vision to put out catalogues of items so that people see something concrete to go along with their monetary donation. Along with our money we loosen up and give more of our time and talents at this time as well. People go out to entertain at nursing homes, work to collect food and clothing for food banks etc.
It is a time to give up on despair, to be replaced by the hope that comes with the birth of the Messiah.
We give up on arguments, feuds, and wars (remember hearing about the troops in the WWI in 1914 meeting in no-man’s-land to celebrate Christmas) and accept the gift of peace from the Prince of Peace!
We let go of our inner Grinch and, in joy, we smile, sing, and celebrate the birth of a baby boy!
And finally, out goes our loneliness as we accept the love of God and the constant presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
So it turns out the question the woman asked me in line this morning was pretty insightful after-all. What will I give up for Advent? How about you?
It happened yesterday. I was tidying the living room because guests were coming. I was on a roll until I uncovered the gardening books my parents recently gave me. I easily set aside the one on perennials, but ended up totally distracted by the Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening in Canada. With pictures of fresh asparagus, apples,peppers, tomatoes etc. on the cover I was hooked.
For those of you in warmer climes I think I should mention that this morning as I look out my window I see my neighbours headed up the street with their cross-country skis, the snow bank at the end of our driveway makes it impossible to see if cars are coming before backing out, and the cold breeze is quite unpleasant.
I spent some time on the page that gave a list of which vegetables to plant at what time in the season in order to have all the vegetables a family of four need for the summer. For some things you need to replant a number of times and others just once will do.
How is it possible that people with yards under several feet of snow can be making plans in February for their gardens? No matter how deep the winter, we know that spring will come!
In the same way, as Christians, we know that the Kingdom of God is coming. It is just as hard to tell by looking at it as if it were under those feet of snow, but our faith has us looking and working towards its guaranteed coming. So we move forward with visions of peace and justice dancing in our heads.