Lazy afternoon. Sunday snooze—deep one, induced by leftover Thanksgiving turkey for dinner.
Suddenly, a gunshot, jolting me awake!
The mental blur barely clears before another startle hits me. Then I laugh.
The shot reminds me Deer Hunting Season starts next morning, which around here sometimes sounds like an outbreak of war. (Or even the day before, like now, when neighboring sportsmen “sight in” their guns. And yes, I capitalize the day because in my little section of world geography it’s a state holiday, with schools and even some businesses closed.)
Then thoughts of the calendar make me realize… and sit up straight. It’s also First Sunday of Advent!
We’ve already moved past dinner at noontime—even past afternoon nap! And I’ve completely forgotten!
Advent, with the Sunday candles and readings and the thoughts it all stirs, has deepened in meaning and worth for me through recent years. I don’t want to lose all that by the wayside.
And the wayside, that’s what makes me laugh. I realize what an oddball mix the day really is, and how the calendar’s crazy conglomeration has managed to waylay me!
Post-Thanksgiving Sunday. Eve of Deer Hunting Season. First Sunday of Advent. All the same day. And all that intermingled with the nearby dates: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and—around here—“Santa’s Sleigh Ride” (open house shopping tour) Day (like all those other Big Dates, created to stir up sales).
So, this First Advent Sunday, up I get, and try to rescue Advent…
This was last Sunday. The day was cold and damp, the hour was getting late, and the sinus infection I thought I’d overcome now seemed to be re-overcoming me with a vengeance. Besides, it was a day for Sabbath resting, not laborious slogging among trees and bushes, clipping greens and vines for wreath-weaving.
As for Advent candles, I’d forgotten to buy any new ones because the calendar had run right past me. As I clawed my way through my drawerful of votives and stubs and half-used tapers, no set of four pristine candles of any color jumped up and met me. But I did have last year’s Advent leftovers…
Thus, our minimalist Advent “wreath” to start lighting after our minimalist supper.
This week wasn’t much better. After mostly holing up inside as the weather chilled outside, and doing minimal labor, still trying to recover health, I merely threw a cloth on the table and plopped the candleholder and charger atop it. I also found a fairly presentable white pillar for the middle. So,
Second week of Minimalist Advent:
The truth gleamed through, clear and bright as that Bethlehem star: It isn’t the trappings that make for the meaning. It’s the meaning itself. And the meaning of Christ’s coming, first to the Bethlehem darkness of two millennia past, and His future (soon) return as Conquering Judge to this present world’s darkness, glows vivid with import and hope.
I may or may not add greens to the Advent “wreath” by next Sunday. Now I’m thinking instead of lighting three candles in a darkened room, with all other light extinguished, reminder of that hope in the dark.
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