This has been a difficult week for me, the death of a little six year old has overshadowed our advent preparations, and made many of us here in Downham Market look differently at Christmas. With that in mind I ask whether you are the kind of person that likes everything prepared well in advance, are you a last minute crammer, or a bit of a mixture.....Here then is this weeks Friday 5:
1. You have a busy week, pushing out all time for preparing worship/ Sunday School lessons/ being ready for an important meeting ( or whatever equivalent your profession demands)- how do you cope?
yesterday, I sat in the middle of my office, surrounded by bankers boxes, and cleaned out old periodicals to send down to the church basement. The church administrator saw me, and I said, "I have so much to do! I shouldn't be doing this!" she replied, "No. This is exactly what you need to do right now." I cleaned off an entire shelf for the Advent calendar I bought from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I cleared out a little of the clutter from my office.
2. You have unexpected visitors, and need to provide them with a meal- what do you do?
We have a couple of good menus to order out from -- just by coincidence we have tortellini soup in the freezer if they would like that, but generally it would be: order out.
Three discussion topics:
3. Thinking along the lines of this week's advent theme; repentance is an important but often neglected aspect of advent preparations.....
Repentance is a nitty-gritty thing in a season that is often sentimental. I'm reading a great book called God with us for my Advent devotions. It talks about the nitty-gritty of incarnation. God is not simply "spiritual" but becomes material -- and so material things matter to God: mountains, people, the relatives we can't stand, the strangers we bump up against in the store, people who are hungry....here's a great quote from the book: "Christmas comes around again and forces us to deal with God in the context of demanding and inconvenient children; gatherings of family members, many of whom we spend the rest of the year avoiding; all the crasser forms of greed and commercialized materiality; garish lights and decorations. Or maybe the other way around: Christmas forces us to deal with all the mess of our humanity in the context of God who has already entered that mess in the glorious birth of Jesus." (p. 9)
4. Some of the best experiences in life occur when you simply go with the flow.
yes, but how to leave time for the flow? That's one of the challenges of the season, so overscheduled, with concerts, meetings, parties, planning church services, that there is hardly room left for a surprise. And God wants to surprise us...
5. Details are everything, attention to the small things enables a plan to roll forward smoothly...
But I am a "big picture" kind of person...are the bread and wine details or a "big picture"? I think both.
Well, I did send some gifts with my Mom to Arizona, but I'm not anywhere near as prepared as I'd like to be. We still haven't gotten our decorations from the basement, and some important people still need to be considered. (sigh).