Ain’t it funny how time slips away…
When Al Green croons these familiar words, I sing loudly and probably a little off key but in real life, it’s not even funny how quickly time slips away. The closer we get to 2019, the urgency to pay attention at all times and places is matched only by the hustle and bustle of shopping, planning, and staying safe. Between mall and school shootings, gun violence, obesity, major data breaches, fights over toys and drive-by lanes, increased border deployments, immigration, it’s easy to have a mindset that includes everything but holy thoughts.
Here’s my invitation to share a different kind of holiday this year:
First, we must be intentional in remembering the reason for the season. The season is supposed to be holy but we get to decide whether Jesus Christ will be the star of the show or an afterthought. Think about what you will give instead of what you’re getting. If the truth were told, most of us don’t need another tool chest or ugly sweater to add to our collection of stuff, but many of our neighbors are suffering in a serious kind of way. Affordable housing has become an oxymoron, the children are suffering because of neglect, uneven foster care, homelessness, failing schools, opioid crises of their parents and caregivers, and the list goes on.
Further, children whose parents are incarcerated have it especially tough this time of the year. They have usually been shuttled back and forth between homes where they may or may not be welcome or have their own things. Have your church or civic group support them not just for Christmas but all year.
Drop something in the Salvation Army red kettle every chance you get, even/especially if it’s your spare change. Like the biblical story about the lad with the fish and loaves, I continue to be amazed at what happens when we pull together for good! Volunteer to ring the bell for a couple of hours and meet some of the nicest people around.
Be an angel and adopt a child and/or a senior from the Angel Tree before they’re all gone.
Finally, look for ways to build a bridge to heal our families/communities nation/world. In memory of 41st President, George Herbert Walker Bush, let’s be kinder and gentler throughout this holiday season and all year long. Ask how/what you can do to bring back hope, dignity, and wholeness to those who need a hand up.
Time keeps on slippin,’ slippin,’slippin’ into the future’ according to songwriter and band leader Steve Miller, and this time of reflection and preparation called Advent (between Sunday, December 2 and Christmas Day) can be joyful and blessed or just another opportunity to be exhausted and frazzled. My prayer is that you will slow down, admire the beauty around you, and be the heart, hands, and feet our world so desperately needs. Happy December and blessings.
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