Tonight my girlfriend and I got the first of what I hope to be many future Christmas trees. But before we could get the tree we had to get a stand, so I took a drive over to Fred Meyer. Of course the place was packed with people getting their Christmas shopping done before they had to head back to work tomorrow. I hate busy stores and during this season it is the worst.
This December I am trying my hardest to try and follow the church calendar which means that it isn’t quite Christmas yet. This has meant I haven’t done any Christmas decorating yet, this includes the tree which won’t be decorated until Saturday. I haven’t bought any Christmas presents yet. And it has meant a ban on Christmas music, except for those few tunes that I hear every time I go to my girlfriend’s house. I wish it meant no Christmas cookies too, but that is much easier said than done.
I want to celebrate Christmas in its own time, because there is something good about playing the waiting game. Christmas can be a rough season for many people. Depression and anxiety are at their height during this season. Advent is the season that is meant to hold the difficulty that the joy of Christmas can be: because it is a season of hope. Hope is never an easy thing because it exists between what we believe and what really is. During the season of Advent we sit in that space and we wait to see what is going to happen. As the days get shorter we light one more candle. We surround ourselves with the color blue, which is typically associated with depression, but is meant to point us toward the skies.
May you wait with fervor this holiday season. May hope be your guide. May you light one more candle to stand against the dark. And may you look to the sky one clear night and see the lights that God has lit to pierce the darkness, and remember the star that led shepherds and wise men to the one who would come to pierce the darkness of our depression, anxiety and death.
Jon Glenn is the intern pastor for the 2011-2012 school year. He enjoys theological conversation, a good beer or cup of coffee, rock climbing, hiking and taking long breaks from his school work to spend time with his friends and his girlfriend Melissa. His favorite ideal is hope which he longs to inspire in others.