This is the week folks…
The week is the reason for so many houses being adorned with red and green and shimmering white. Christmas is upon us in America.
It is also the week that the grocery stores are crazy busy. Stores are jam packed. And Starbucks employees are quite tired. Kids are set free from classrooms. And delicious foods are yet to be prepared.
On that note, as we launch into christmas week here are a couple of things that might help to keep you sane—I mean in good spirits and in the festive mood.
- Johnnyswim’s sweet Christmas album:
- Niki Hardy gives us all a most needed friendly reminder that we don’t have to do it all this season. Hope her writing helps to lighten the load that may be in your soul.
You can find her post here
- This new original by the talented artists at Seacoast Church:
- Though not all celebrate the church season of advent, I find the mere definition of the word “advent” to be powerfully revelatory of the season.
Advent- the arrival of a notable person, event, or thing.
May we take note this week of the one who has already came and who comes near even when we do not notice.
Blessings as you begin your week.
Who will love? Who will see?
They do not look like you, nor do they look like me.
Awake, o sleeper–
You’ve barricade yourself behind a wall. While those who came to feast are left out to starve.
Give them scraps you say, from over high walls.
How about unlock your gates, demolish the partition.
Let the hungry come eat. Sit them on your left and on your right.
To the least who thinks he is nothing, sit him at the head.
Honor him as worthy. Take it in, watch love grow.
Beep, Beep, Beep. Woke late this morning after hitting snooze multiple times. Still I hopped out of bed and got dressed, had a quick cup of joe. I was looking good and feeling good. Got in the car driving to church while listening to the sermon via internet (yea i was late). And then….I turned around.
Why I turned around Im not completely sure. It wasn’t fear or shame or anxiety. I think I just didn’t want to go in late sit by some dude I don’t know and who will only say hi to me. Listen to the sermon, worship around other people who don’t know me, and leave among the masses. Really I can engage and listen to the sermon sitting on my porch and worship alone without other strangers around. Its not church to walk in unseen. I know all the church-goer arguments that would rebuttal everything I am saying right now…and frankly I don’t give a damn. “Turn to the person next to you and have a conversation…connect with people while you are there…get involved in serving”. There is a much bigger problem that those band-aids wont fix. And lets be honest…most likely that person sitting next to me will run out of the church so damn fast after service that they will have forgotten what I look like and my name. Unless that is I get lucky.
I am nearing my late 20s, not married, without kids. Im okay not having kids and on certain days Im okay being single. But the thing is at my age it is really hard to not feel left behind. But I think it is a good thing. Because you see we have an issue here in America. We make it a goal to be married settle in have a family without community. A family is community in itself, I know, but it is also a unified organism of sorts. The family still needs outside community. Id argue that couples without friends are dangerous. And families without community are either just surviving or toxic.
But we don’t get it in America. We think sitting at church on Sunday is community. Wake up! Isn’t your heart screaming for more? Or have you given up hope? We work incredibly long hours during the week. The weekend sizzles away as we maybe regroup. Its rare we find time to just be with one another. Plus we are believing lies. “There has to be an agenda if we are going to spend time with one another because really I have no time.” “Oh and the reason I have no time is I am trying to find purpose in my work and hide who I really am from everyone around me because Im scared to see me myself.”
Here’s what I long for: Community being an open door policy. When I was in Turkey, I was amazed by the sense of community that I saw there. Old men sitting outside their homes drinking tea and playing cards. Women helping each other in the kitchen. Neighbors taking walks together. Boys playing soccer together. Vendors conversing with one another. Meals shared together. A neighbor randomly showing up. Those things weren’t scheduled months in advance. Love flowed out of these people more naturally than I had ever seen in my life. Life shared.
Weary from trying to push to make it happen. Sick of the pseudo community that tastes like cotton candy but leaves you feeling empty. And praying we, myself included, get past the semi-community by putting both our feet in our neighbors kitchen. Too many people here are lonely, depressed, and searching for something to ease the pain. I want to see depression and addictions fall away because community exists.