But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours ……… in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get up and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!
(yes that is the Message , and I make no apologies to those who don’t like it)
Absorbed and exhausted- those words struck home with force when I read them ! How easy it is to become absorbed and exhausted by life; this is highlighted so often by the Holiday season as it rushes upon us demanding that we take notice of its glitter and sparkle, demanding perfection from us- perfection having been redefined as an orgy of gluttony washed down by reckless spending in order that the surface celebrations are seen to be enjoyed.
Am I being a killjoy; possibly I am, but I counsel too many exhausted people who having been consumed by their absorption in attempting to make Christmas special, find themselves adrift on a sea of empty promises, disillusioned and confused.
Still a killjoy? Let me share a few of today’s e-mails with you:
Win £1,000 pounds to spend in Argos- make Christmas more Christmassy….
Win a weeks shopping at Tescos
Stock up with Christmas Champagne, Christmas isn’t Christmas without a glass of bubbly ( really???)
Top Christmas Cracker deals at Miso….
The list goes on and on and on, no doubt there will be more tonight, and more tomorrow…
No wonder people end up feeling absorbed and exhausted, for this pressure comes our way through the radio, the TV, the letterbox ( crammed with tempting brochures everyday)…
The thing is I love Christmas, I love Advent, the chance to truly prepare my heart to celebrate again the amazing news that God chose to walk among us, that through the revelation of Jesus our ideas and thoughts of God can be turned upside down- if we listen, if we truly listen….
I am not advocating a miserable observance of a penitential season, rather I am suggesting that we anticipate with joy the breaking through of God’s kingdom here on earth, here in our communities, here in our hearts. God comes quietly, whispering words of love to us, we may never catch them if we remain absorbed in the rush and bustle, and yet in those words lies refreshment for our hearts and souls, beyond anything that Champagne and chocolate might offer us, within those words lies a peace that passes all understanding that does not insist on a new sofa or a perfect tree, in those words lies life itself, full of possibilities, full of hope…..
Let’s not become so absorbed and exhausted by surface preparations that we don’t have time to tend to our heats and souls. The wonder of Christmas is not wrapped with a shiny bow, but calls to us through the stillness- God is with us, God is with us, God is with us…..