Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping …. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36 MSG)
Parties, drinking and shopping as keys to the “Christmas spirit”. The caution we hear from Jesus addresses the Advent challenge well. Let’s think about parties. We party to celebrate, to forget, to escape, to encourage, to get blotto.
We know Jesus loved a good party. He told stories about parties because so many of the rigid religious around him missed his point. But for Jesus a good party was receiving hospitality from an outsider, celebrating the safe return of an outcast, or including those who aren’t included.
This season of parties leaves many looking at the apparent joyfulness with little ability to respond out of their own pain or sense of loss and abandonment. The irony is that we are celebrating the birth of one who renounced all of the perks and privileges of divine inheritance to share our deepest pain.
Let’s have sharp expectation for that deep joy that God is with us in all of life. When we celebrate at a party we can listen for the deeper spirit of celebration of God’s presence.
A Prayer for Today
Loving God, help us to have keen powers of observation when we look and listen to what is happening in life. Give us moments of inner stillness, even when the noise around us is deafening. In the midst of the abundance of this season we are reminded that you left all your abundance to be one of us in all our fragility and weakness – so you can make us strong …. for Jesus’ sake