This week is a gift, and I hope I do not waste it. Usually, the first Sunday of Advent falls on the weekend when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday feasting pushes Advent’s sense of expectation aside. Black Friday and Cyber Monday scream for our attention, drowning out the stillness of waiting that Advent brings. Honoring the beginning of Advent with festive worship becomes a challenge when most of the choir has traveled over the river and through the woods for the long weekend.
Not this year.
The beautifully long week between Christ the King and Advent One has no other holiday cluttering its rhythm. The shopping season kick-off has settled down to a dull roar, and there is time, sweet time. Time to plan for festive worship. Time to clean house and take out the Advent wreath without feeling exhausted already. Time to read the Word slowly, to listen for new revelations in old, familiar words. Time to grow expectant, waiting for the Waiting to begin.
The temptation is to use this “extra” week for catching up on unfinished business. I am resisting that temptation with all my might. I want to savor these moments at the end of the liturgical year. This week is the hour or so after all the guests have left the New Year’s Eve party that was Christ the King Sunday, when the dishes are done and the house is quiet. How will you spend it, this luxury of time?