That’s what yesterday felt like, seasonal chaos. Too much to do to meet too many expectations that I’m not sure from where they originate. Something I’m definitely thinking about today.
We went to church in the morning and it was the first time in a long time we felt like we belonged there. It only took me a little while to figure out why… the young people with whom I’d spent the most time – with whom there was considerable reciprocal investment in relationships, in community – were there. The happiness at seeing each of the members of their community, their group, was palpable, and we were part of that. It was warm, it was home, and I miss it deeply. I can ‘keep in touch’ with many of them through various means, but being together was priceless. Their joy and concern for Amy and her son, their love for one another, their excitement to hear news from each others’ lives, their intentional connecting with those they haven’t seen or whom they know have had hard times… it was beautiful… it was community.
Then it was on to my brother’s house (after he and a neighbor rescued us from a tree down across the road in the strong gusty winds) for a combination early-Christmas and niece’s 17th actual-birthday celebratory feast. Because of some odd and difficult dynamics brought on by one person’s choices and grudges, the best part of the evening was late as I and my brother and sister-in-law and our teenage kids we sat around the living room talking about all kinds of things – from future careers to silly stories and family history. We stayed way too late for someplace that is a dark and hour-long drive, but it was an enjoyable way to end the family day.
Today is slow getting started, but has a long list I feel like rebelling against. I need to go to the grocery store, there is house preparation and gift wrapping still to do. There is church at 7 pm.
All this makes me wonder if Jesus would want us to celebrate his incarnation this way at all, with pressure and expectations about things so foreign to him… with packed schedules… with exhausting paces…