For a second time, with a mixture of nostalgia and love that the Peanuts gang sings looking up...listen to this version of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"...and soak in the blissful joyfulness.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King.
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise;
join the triumph of the skies;
with th'angelic hosts proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the signals and sign posts for me that Christmas time is here (which is a reference to one of the opening songs in the cartoon). What helps you usher in, know deep within this season? Maybe it is making cookies with recipes that have been passed down generations. Maybe it is going out to look at Christmas lights. Maybe it is decorating the tree with ornaments that the moment you touch them take you back to the places and people from which the ornament came. Maybe it is standing awash in candle light singing, Silent Night on Christmas Eve. The point is not for me to be exhaustive or prescriptive, but descriptive that there is a wide range of ways we can find ourselves in this season.
Take a moment to name and claim what can help you enter the mystery of this sacred season. Have you been able to participate in that yet? Can you consider this permission to go and do that now? It's okay, I'll wait.
By the way...I like extra sprinkles on my sugar cookies.
Sometimes we tend to divide the world that anything active this time of year is clumped together in the category of "hustle and bustle". But don't forget that God entered in to our world amid crowded, chaotic streets and when the buzz (unholy hum) of people frantically trying to get somewhere. It doesn't have to be either or. Yes, God can be found in the silence and stillness, but God can also be found thoughtfully/prayerfully shopping or cooking or decorating. It is our attention and intention that opens us to the holy of every moment.
So, again...what is that moment that can help you usher in Christmas this year? Let's go do that.
Prayer: God who offers a variety of ways for us to find You, move in our midst with an openness to You wherever and however we find You at this time. Amen.