Rejoice in the nearness of Christ’s coming, yes, but also in the many gifts of the pregnant waiting time when the world (in the northern hemisphere, at least) spins ever deeper into sweet, fertile darkness.
What makes you rejoice about:
5. Jesus’ coming?
Okay. I like this one, so let’s play! 🙂
What makes me rejoice about…
1) … waiting?
There is a deliciousness to waiting for something you’re looking forward to. The anticipation is exciting, energizing. It gives us the energy and the eagerness to do things we might not ordinarily do — and I’m not talking about staying up all night to clean house, either. I am learning that while I’m not very good at the virtue of patience, I can live into the waiting, into the anticipation, and find gifts and graces there that I did not expect.
2) … darkness?
Although I do find it wearying to drive to work while the sun is barely above the eastern horizon, and to get back home again as it kisses the western horizon, I do enjoy the winter darkness. I like having more time to actually see the stars, especially since Orion is one of the few constellations I can actually recognize. And to me, there are few things more beautiful than a bright crescent moon in the crystal clear winter night sky. The crescent moon always gives me delicious shivers anyway, but in a clear dark winter sky? Mmmmmmmm!
I also like candles and twinkly Christmas lights… and I adore the times when I turn off all the lights but my Christmas tree and my Advent wreath, and just soak in those tiny lights in the darkness.
3) … winter?
Hee hee. My new beau continues to debate with me on whether Virginia Beach truly experiences winter. He asks, so when does winter actually start down there? And I say, December 21st, same as everywhere else! There is a stark beauty to a bare tree against a winter sky – either that crystal clear winter blue, or the dove grey of a winter storm sky. I love the patterns that ice makes, and rejoice in icicles (because I see them maybe once or twice a year). I love to watch it snow, especially if I can curl up inside in a blanket and watch it. And speaking of snow, I think the only snow we got last “winter” that stuck at all happened on Holy Saturday – that’s right, in April. It was bizarre and beautiful, to see my car with both snow and windblown cherry blossom petals on it.
4) … Advent?
Well, kind of like my answer to #1, I like this intentional time of living into the anticipation, of being pregnant with the saviour, of making the journey to Bethlehem, of waiting for God to rescue me and all my people. It is a real gift and treasure to me to go to church during Advent for an antidote to the frenetic pace of the gift-buying season, or to light my candles and sit in silence. Besides, my favourite colours are purple and pink – so it just doesn’t get better than Advent!
5) … the coming of Jesus?
What’s not to rejoice at? I love God being born as an infant – of placing Godself in a form that invites humans to care for God. I love to imagine Jesus as a child. There are enough signs of smart-aleckiness and bratliness in Jesus in the gospels that I have a feeling he was quite a handful as a child. Anne Lamott hypothesizes that the mothers in Jesus’ time each carried a rock in their pockets at all times, so that if their children acted up, they could hold up the rock and say, Oh, go ahead, keep it up. Remember what happened to Benjamin’s son last year when he was lippy to his mother? This image makes me giggle, particularly when my two indulge in smart-aleckiness and bratliness.