“Daddy, the tree fell over.”
These are the words that greeted me as I came down the steps early yesterday morning. This year’s tree is not exactly symmetrical and quite top heavy. Add to this the traditional practice of our kiddos front-loading the tree with all their unique and homemade ornaments, our Douglas Fir was bound to face plant on our living room floor. But we raised it up, tied a few dumbbell weights to the trunk and threw a brick on the base and started again.
The gospels are chalk full of stories of perceived disasters and presumed deaths, only for Jesus to enter and call for the dead to rise- to leave tombs, be unbound from the garments of death, to pick up mats and walk, to wake from sleep and grab some breakfast, and more. The call to rise up is even synonymous with discipleship, to move into hopeful, subversive, and spirit-led action when all is perceived as lost and beyond repair.
This is not the first time our tree has fallen over, the last time was ten years ago when we tied it to the wall. Given the circus life we live, it likely will not be the last. And when that day comes, we will raise it back up again. This Advent, may God raise us up from whatever has knocked us over. May we also be those who come alongside others whom have been weighed down and on the verge of toppling over from whatever burdens they have shouldered for too long. May we be agents of love and grace who lean into Christ’s call to rise and be raised.