I wasn't ready.
When Thanksgiving ended Thursday night and I wasn't even sleeping in my own bed because I had to get up early for another CT scan at a hospital near my parents' house, I started to panic a little. Advent was just two days away, and I wasn't ready.
It wasn't just that I hadn't bought the candles or finished my Christmas shopping. And really, though I make it my ambition every year to have my Christmas cards stamped and addressed by Thanksgiving, that goal just wasn't in my sights anymore. My whole life felt out of sorts. I have been grieving over my sweet dog and dealing with some uncertain physical pain, and my schedule has been too hectic to even change the sheets on my bed.
Sleeping in my own filth this past week has provided little rest.
So, Friday evening and Saturday morning I began preparing my life for Advent. I started with the sheets, but very quickly I moved on to the laundry, the carpets, the dishes. I stopped after work to buy candles and a small Christmas tree, and I made some last minute orders on Amazon.
As I was running circles around myself making the preparations, however, I realized that these tasks have very little to do with Advent. I will certainly feel better that I got the floors mopped and the candles arranged when a few of my friends stop by tonight to celebrate the first Sunday in Advent. But my heart will still feel empty and soul flat if I don't stop and prepare myself for this season of Expectation.
So I have been praying and singing and sitting quietly. I have read through a few Psalms, and found great comfort in Isaiah 55. I have spent some time in bed the past two mornings just resting in Jesus, both figuratively and literally.
I want this season of expectation to help me see the Light more clearly, not just a light at the end of the tunnel.
A Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent from The Book of Common Prayer
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of
darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of
this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit
us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come
again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the
dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
for ever. Amen.
Today's Bible Reading