a light

The Aldi Cheese Advent Calendar was very gouda-forward this year. There was regular gouda, yes, but also: mustard gouda, jalapeño gouda, mediterranean gouda, red pesto gouda, black pepper gouda, and smoked paprika gouda. That’s…a lot of gouda.

This is a difficult season for so many people. I’ve been praying for folks who are sick, folks whose kids are sick, people who are stuck at home – and in airports – for Christmas thanks to the once-in-a-generation winter storm, people with fresh grief in need of comfort, people with always complicated family dynamics that are heightened during the holiday season. I’m worried this morning about the unhoused neighbor near our church building and hope he found someplace warm to spend the frigid night, and the power company just announced rolling blackouts to avoid a total power grid failure. On Christmas Eve. Thats…a lot of difficulty.

In these unrelenting seasons, it can start to feel like the difficult things just pile up until they start to repeat themselves. Another day, another weird flavor of gouda. How many ways can this crap get reheated and remixed? What other ridiculous condiment can Aldi throw into cheese? How long can Covid keep ruining Christmases? When will we ever learn to be gentle with one another? Can we ever figure out ways to make sure everyone has a warm place to spend the night? Is it even possible to live lightly enough on the earth so that we don’t face these crises of energy?

I feel you, Advent calendar. I am also limping across the finish line. And yes, I can’t keep the candles in my Advent wreath burning more than a couple of days. Love and joy gave up the ghost (again) this morning. But you know what? John doesn’t kick off his gospel by saying that the Light shines in…the sunshine. Mary and Joseph didn’t get put up in a 5-star Bethlehem resort. Jesus was born in an occupied territory, and his family became refugees as soon as he was born. Hope isn’t a thing we grab onto in times of gentleness and ease. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.

Thanks for being part of this Advent journey, y’all. I’m adding you all to my Christmas Eve prayers, that whatever this day brings, it includes some gentleness and light in the midst of it all. Merry Christmas.

One comment

  1. Roberta Merrill · December 25

    Blessings Dana. Your Advent musings have been a special part of my mornings as the days wound up to Xmas. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Thank you for sharing.


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