“And they came with haste…” familiar words for those who have memorized Luke 2:16. While that describes the shepherds running to the stable to see baby Jesus, different words can summarize our society today especially during this Christmas season. “I’m in a hurry…”
It was inevitable. I saw the billboard a few days after Thanksgiving. “NYE Bash”; what? Announcing now to make plans for a New Year’s Eve celebration? There are still turkey leftovers and I should be making plans for December 31st? Whoa. Can we put on the brakes for a minute? It reminds me of the Alabama song “I’m in a Hurry”. http://youtu.be/CICwZ01bT3w You know:
I’m in a hurry to get things done.
Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun.
All I really gotta do is live and die,
But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.
Oh, I hear a voice that says I’m running behind.
Better pick up my pace – it’s a race
And there ain’t no room for someone in second place.
While the billboard caught me off guard, I should not have been surprised. This is our culture today. We can’t wait to get something over with, so we can get going on whatever is coming up next – whatever that might be. Halloween décor follows July 4th and soon items are on sale (long before the 31st arrives) so the shelves can be cleared for the onslaught of Christmas inventory. Never mind that Thanksgiving barely gets a nod from anyone. Thanksgiving really only serves as a jumping board for Brown Thursdays and Black Fridays. How sad.
You see, it may be the Christmas season, but it’s really not Christmas; not yet. It’s Advent – a time of preparation. Not the house, not the tree, not the cookies, not the shopping, but your heart. Listen again to the promise in Isaiah. Replay that glorious love story. Pour over the hymns reminding us that we have not changed much. Weary and tired we rush around trying to fill in the void when all the while our Savior waits with His hands outstretched. As the Christmas carol “Oh Holy Night” states:
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices;
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”
It’s Advent – the perfect time to slow down – the perfect season for listening. It’s the spirit of hope and anticipation – just what these weary hearts need. Remember, God still loves the world!
Blessings to you as pause and remember the gift! Doneta