Monday, December 22, 2008
wait, wait, wait
I want it and I want it NOW. Doesn’t that seem to be a pretty pervasive attitude for all of us here in America. And that is sad. We will never know the joy and excitement of waiting for something good.
Christmas at our home was the most exciting time of the entire year for me, and it was all about waiting, waiting. A week or two before Christmas my parents locked the dining room doors to the front rooms and their bedroom. Mom put the key in her kitchen smock and there was no way we could get it. In our home there was absolutely no sign of Christmas until Christmas Eve.
And then all heaven broke loose. Candles, real candles went up in all the windows, (pretty dangerous actually but it worked. Mom did it with careful planning). She also cooked a nice ham with all the side dishes for a kind of buffet. Dad was behind the locked door doing his own hamming, yelling at Santa to let him go as he stuck his head out the door and pulled it back in with his other hand. Dad’s cronies knocked on the windows all around the house from the outside. Then all us kids lined up in front of the doors in order, the little ones first, the older ones last. Finally Dad swung the doors open and we rushed into the front room to see a Christmas wonderland, a heavenly display of lights, music, presents, and a beautiful tree. Each sibling had their own little area where their gifts were arranged beautifully, we could see them all at once, like a little miracle. None of them were wrapped. I never in all my life ever appreciated waiting as much as I did at Christmas. For me the excitement was almost at fever pitch with joy and expectation.
Advent is all about waiting and the Church tells us to wait. Hopefully Christmas carols and Christmas decorations are not brought into the Church during the Advent season. Though I suspect that many Churches have caved into the pressures of secular society in this area. That is sad. Mother Church wants us to get excited about Christmas, excited and joyful with expectation. That can only come with waiting.
-- Abbot Thomas, Blue Cloud Abbey