Where Are You Christmas?

We continue to be in the season of waiting, hoping, and expecting.  We just experienced the second Sunday of Advent  The very word Advent comes from the Latin meaning, “coming toward.”  What are we coming toward?  We are coming toward celebrating the birth of Christ, the inbreaking of God’s tangible presence and kingdom into our world.  We are also coming toward that time when Christ will return and God’s kingdom of justice, hope, peace, joy, and love will be fully realized. 

That time between God’s inbreaking so many years ago in the person of Christ and the hope of his return is a hard space in which to dwell.  As we wait and watch and look at the world around us, it is hard to see the beauty of Christmas lived out everyday.  We wonder where Christmas is?  Where is God’s loving presence?

Where are you Christmas when people are grieving?  Where are you Christmas in the face of war, violence, and oppression?  Where are you Christmas when illness seems to win?  Where are you Christmas while people wait in a Hospice House?  Where are you Christmas when life overwhelms?  Sometimes we wonder if Christmas has abandoned us?

This year the song, Where Are You Christmas? resonates:

Where are you Christmas 

Why can't I find you 

Why have you gone away 

Where is the laughter 

You used to bring me 

Why can't I hear music play 

My world is changing

I'm rearranging

Does that mean Christmas changes too

Where are you Christmas

Do you remember

The one you used to know

I'm not the same one

See what the time's done

Is that why you have let me go

Today marks day 6 of waiting in a Hospice House.  Waiting takes on a whole new meaning in this place.  As you watch and wait, as you listen and linger, meditating on the season of Advent takes on a whole new depth.  And even when Christmas seems elusive, it still manages to peek through.    

Christmas is here

Everywhere, oh

Christmas is here

If you care, oh

If there is love in your heart and your mind

You will feel like Christmas all the time

I feel you Christmas

I know I've found you

You never fade away

The joy of Christmas

Stays here inside us

Fills each and every heart with love

Where are you Christmas

Fill your heart with love

Christmas comes along side, empathizes and suffers with people who are grieving?  Christmas is the acts of peace and justice in the face of war, violence, and oppression?  Christmas is the healing that comes in either this life or the next in the face of illness.

Even here in a Hospice House, the spirit of Christmas dwells.  Even while waiting on the gift of death, one experiences the peace, love, and hope of Christ.  Christmas comes in the nurse who stops by.  Christmas comes in the text, call, or message from a friend.  Christmas comes in hugs.  Christmas comes in the sharing of stories.  Christmas comes in the walking with one another through our shared grief.  Christmas comes in the sitting on the floor and putting together puzzles with my niece.  Christmas comes in walking outside in the beautiful weather and experiencing God in nature.  

God is with us, every step of the way, loving us and carrying us through.  We are not alone.  Every time we experience love, that is God meeting us where we are.  Every time we experience peace, that is us resting in God’s care beyond the circumstances.  Everytime we experience hope, that is God assuring us of God’s promises.  Everytime we expereince joy, that is God’s grace overflowing in our hearts.  Christmas comes in each of these moments.  May Christmas burst into your Advent this season!  While you wait, hope, and expect, may God’s presence, peace, love, hope, and joy wash over you like a deluge of living water, restoring your soul.  Where are you Christmas?  You are in each act of love, hope, peace, and joy.  May we be agents of Christmas to a hurting world!  Amen!

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