Today’s Word: ‘Seasons’ as in… Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.
I have my mom to thank for my love of for these seasons of anticipation, celebration and manifestation and how one leads to the next as each builds upon the last.
There can be no Christmas without Advent. There can be no Epiphany without Christmas.
Joyce was all about creating anticipation during Advent. With daily visits to a small Nativity scene, we added angels and shepherds, sheep and donkeys, kings from the east and stars from the sky. One at a time, we added them. Each day each one was placed just so until finally the time came to add the baby, in the manger “because there was no room in the Inn.” Such anticipation! By the end of the fourth week of Advent with the anticipation at a fevered pitch, I was usually too tired to stay awake, yet too excited to fall asleep all at the same time.
The Christmas celebration was finally upon us! As Christmas Day turned into the day after Christmas Day and as most of the rest of the human race having already set its collective face toward Valentine’s Day, Joyce taught me to simply dwell in Christmas; to just “be” in each of the twelve, beautiful, wonder-filled days bursting forth with the good news of Incarnation: “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood,” as my late, dear friend, Eugene Peterson understood the Gospel writer, John. But just when the heart shaped chocolates were being replaced with chocolate bunnies, Joyce was just getting going with Epiphany, Christ’s manifestation to the whole world, shepherds and kings alike!
It was this attention to how each day made way for the next day, and the following day after that which made the daily-ness of the journey through these three seasons so magnificent.
So we’ll do that here. The days of Advent will prepare us for Christmas. And the days of Christmas will prepare us for Epiphany. And perhaps along the way we’ll learn something of the mystery of anticipation, celebration and manifestation.