Confession: I work for a book store. We will make 25% of our profit in the next 4 weeks. I am happy that you will be keeping me in a job by shopping with us during that time. Come on in. I will help you find unique gifts for you and yours.
That said. This time of year leaves me with mixed emotions. As I am preparing to preach on the first Sunday of Advent (the period of preparation, confession, and quietness before the storm of the Christ Mass), I am also gearing up to help people show their worth by buy expensive gifts for people they obviously don’t know. It is frustrating as a pastor for cares for people’s souls to watch people act as if their self-worth and identity is tied to having presented the best presents. It’s an utterly American act; if not a Christian one.
As a reference point to dealing with the pressures of the season: I leave a video for your reflection.
The lyrics remind me of the story of St Francis and his father. Francis was being harassed by his father to stop being so crazy and come back to the family business. Francis is said to have stripped down and laid the clothes at his father’s feet. “I don’t need these things,” he offered. And off he went stark naked into history.
May you go stark naked into history this Advent Season.
What do you need this Advent?
What can you leave behind this year?