There’s a stocking missing at Christmas. This is the first December in twelve years without our beagle buddy nestled somewhere near the tree; Jax’ absence is quite heavy. The companionship he provided and fur fellowship he offered were among the many losses brought by a year laden with grief and struggle. We all feel it.
The Advent season and sacred narratives that mark the road to Bethlehem hinge on divine presence, God coming near. Yet 2020 has been strained by physical distance, deprivation of large gatherings, and the voids created by the tragic passing of far too many human lives. While Christmas is certainly a season of joy and celebration, it is also one that provokes lament. Christmas can be cruel. This time around is likely to be uniquely difficult. In whatever way you may feel the burden of absence, my prayer is for you to encounter the right amount and healthiest form of fellowship. Whenever presented the opportunity to safely and creatively practice the presence of Christ, likely not physically, I also pray each of us seizes the moment. We need reminders of our human connection and holy agency now more than ever, so be gentle and empathetic to each other. We are all carrying a fragile Yuletide paradoxic this December.
Check out the calendar of words for sacred imaging through AdventWord.