Some people say that the internet is cold and impersonal, or else that it is chock-full of serial killers and people who aren’t who they pretend to be. Let’s ignore the fact that all of us pretend to be something other than what we are, at least some of the time. Or maybe that’s just me. I often pretend that I have things together. Though this fools approximately no one, it makes me feel better. Anyway, I think the internet, though it can be cold and impersonal, what with all that spam, can also be a very friendly place. One of my readers very kindly sent me a copy of Wintersong by Madeleine L’Engle and Luci Shaw from my Amazon wishlist, and throughout the month of December, I thought I would feature readings from it (and possibly other books) as part of my Advent preparation.

We are now in Advent. The readings in the Lectionary start back at the beginning again. The Christmas tree has been bought. From where I write I can see it through the sliding door of the family room, sitting on the porch with the first snow sifting through it. The house, which is being transformed with Christmas decorations, is in chaos, like a woman caught in the middle of doing her hair. -Luci Shaw

I liked this passage not only because of the idea of the house being transformed (in my house, we loudly and proudly use a plastic tree, so it’s not so much “buying” as “plugging in”), but because of the entire idea of transformation. Advent is a time to remember (not that it should be our only time, mind you) that Christ has transformed our hearts and minds. The church year starts over, and we begin anew – another transformation. We can look to the month (and year) ahead with the same anticipation as the woman who is doing her hair. I imagine she’s going to a Christmas party, one she’s been looking forward to for a while.

This year, the Christmas season seemed to start so early. I am sure that was a combination of things, including the busyness in my own life (changing jobs will do that), the early Thanksgiving, and the general commercialism of the land. I don’t feel like I was given the opportunity to look forward to the Christmas season; it was thrust upon me without my consent. That is why I am especially thankful for Advent, as I join with the rest of the church in looking forward to the beautiful mystery of the Incarnation.

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