Saturday, December 22, 2007

Close of Advent

Advent 2007 is coming to an end; another church year has begun, another secular year is ending. Another school year, weirdly, is at the midpoint (such is the confusion we live with).

This Advent has been such a different time for me, for us. First of course is the major identification with Mary on levels I've never comprehended before. A lot of that went into the sermon I did (see a few posts back). A lot has come out in discussions with J, especially as we read a book called The Womb of Advent that focuses on the fetal growth of the Christ Child just prior to his birth. It's not perfect (the guy seems to be running out of ideas this far into the season), but it's getting us to think about the birth of Jesus in a whole new way.

And Advent is different, as I think about anticipation and expectation on a whole different level. I've recently been thinking a lot about how my life is about to change in one of those ways that means Nothing Will Ever Be the Same. And as much as I know the other side is going to be wonderful and probably way better than now, it's also scary because it's so huge. It's just different - I'm going to be different. I'm going to be a person's mom. J's going to be a parent with me. We are going to be three instead of two. It's so bizarre. We've been two for so long...ten years, almost. We're used to one another, we know how to live with each other very well. Now we are embarking on a change not just in lifestyle but in our very identities.

And really, that's what the coming of Christ is meant to do, isn't it? Change our identities? We become children of God. It's a totally new's way better than before, but it's scary too. It's different, it's change. If it weren't scary probably a lot more people would sign up. But it's incredibly demanding. It's a wonderful change that asks for everything you can give and then some. Which seems a lot like parenting, when I think about it.

So a blessed close to your Advent. I hope you have been able to enter the season without too much distraction by the secular celebrations of Santa-Christmas (Festivus?). Ours is so much better. :) I can't wait, really. But now I think I am starting to get a sense of how incredible the change really should's not just a change of season, or a change of vestments, or decor. It's about a massive change in who each of us who's been touched by this child IS. Where we stand in the universe. How we fit into the whole grand scheme of everything.

I get how scared Mary was now...I get how her anticipation would have been joyful and terrified all at once. And I think that's what we're all supposed to be feeling, if we really let this season get ahold of us.

Be grabbed by the reality of Advent. Be scared. Be excited. Be God's.

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