This is a reprint of my column from the December 2019 Carillon Notes. Read the whole newsletter here.
According to the calendar on my refrigerator, December is the last month of the year. People from many religions—and people with no religion—are barreling towards the joyful, and often stressful, celebration of winter holidays. There are decorations to put up, foods to prepare, journeys to make, gifts to buy, and guests to host. There are last minute end-of-calendar-year projects for work and school. There is simply a lot to do.
It can be overwhelming.
According to the church calendar, Advent is the beginning of the year. It is a time when the world is yearning to get started. It is a time when we wait in holy holy anticipation for Christ to enter the world as a baby in a manger so long ago and as for Christ to return to the world in glory. And it is a time when we remember that God is with us.
And that is good news. In the midst of all of the stress and worry of the holidays, God is with us. In the midst of all of the stress and worry of the life, God is with us. No matter who we are, what is happening, or where we are on life’s journey, God is with us.
There will probably be times this month when you will be overwhelmed. I know there will be times this month when I will be overwhelmed. It may be a little counterintuitive, but in those moments it is worth stopping for a minute, closing our eyes, taking a deep breath, and remembering that God is with us.
In this season and all seasons, we can take comfort in that.