Tidings of Comfort & Joy
The holidays are a time for traditions, such as family, friends and familiar liturgies and hymns at church. Our circumstances throughout much of 2020 and now this Christmas have required us to do things differently. How do we prepare the way of the Lord when we remain in a wilderness of pandemic?
In our Christian tradition, advent is a time of expectant waiting. It can also be a penitent time for examining where life has brought us up short. Where do we need the light of Christ to shine more brightly in our lives, and what changes can we make to invite more light?
Franciscan Richard Rohr says, “Whenever the material and the spiritual coincide, there is the Christ.” He points out that “matter reveals Spirit, and Spirit needs matter to show itself.”
Let us Christians be the ones this holiday season who shine light on a dark world. Let’s add some extra sparkle to our traditions of Christmases long, long ago.
December 18. Call a nursing home and determine how to send beautiful cards to residents who don’t often receive mail. Sign them “from Santa.”
December 19. Ask a child, “What are you giving for Christmas?” instead of “What are you getting for Christmas?”
December 20. Tip someone who doesn’t expect it. Or buy a drink for the car behind you in the drive-through.
December 21. Watch, without distraction A Christmas Carol on television or your favorite holiday show. Look for the intersection of Spirit and matter, to see if you can find Jesus there.
December 22. If you have friends who have lost a family member since last Christmas, make a special effort to offer them some holiday cheer, with a phone call or a card.
December 23. Fill your house with the holiday fragrance of cloves, orange peel and cinnamon sticks simmering on the kitchen stove.
December 24 Send thank-you notes or texts for any gifts you receive and include a description or picture of the gift being enjoying.
May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; The spirit of Christmas, which is peace; The heart of Christmas which is love. — Ada V. Hendricks
Some ideas borrowed and embellished from Life’s Little Treasure Book of Christmas Traditions. H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 1994.