Advent: Mary's Transition
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Turkeys, pies, hams, football games, leftovers, big box stores, small businesses, leftovers, cyber sales, pizza (please no more leftovers) and giving days. And, for the over-eager among us, there were also road trips and massive clean ups and maybe even church services and Christmas decorating.
We are not trying to post-traumatically-stress you out or anything, but congratulations on a job well done--or at least on survival. We want to remind you that you’re a good woman and that there is an actual slew of reasons you may be a bit sluggish today.
Are you up for a small reminder about the Church (the universal, historical one) and her gift to you in this email? A small lesson in the fact that it is actually a good, welcome, and right thing to be still and to hold the tension of the hard alongside the hope of redemption in the same heart space?
Over these next three weeks, all the good women careen toward Christmas. We think of this as the “Christmas Season” and we maximize it for our people. But it is not yet Christmas. Not according to the Church, the wisdom of the ancients who helped us, the Body of Christ, walk in the wise way of grace and truth.
In the Church calendar, there are actually twelve days of Christmas (minus the lords, ladies, rings, and pipers) that begin on Christmas Day and end on January 5th. The twelve days are feast days. They serve as a reminder that Jesus has come and that His coming brings joy to the world. These are the grace-days of Christ’s arrival.
Prior to Christmas there is another time. The time where we are right now--in Church calendar time--is Advent. It’s the waiting time. It’s the dark, mysterious time. It’s the time of humanity broken, needy, wanting, and believing. It’s the time when we sing, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and remember our emptiness. These are the truth days. The ones that can be hard to swallow and difficult to digest.
But both matter. The hard waiting days and the hearty feasting days.
Advent is the time in which we as women can especially appreciate the heavy hope that Mary bore. We can imagine how she felt when her body held the Light of the World but her identity and her calling and her reputation were all terribly in flux and quite upended. True, she was the one who would cradle God, but she was also the one who was certainly waiting with no small amount of stomach churning as her life was being re-formed by forces far, far outside of her control. She had it at her disposal to surrender, but control was not an option.
Are you in a life-transition where your identity, calling, reputation, or future are fuzzy? Advent is your time, sister. Advent is your friend. Advent is where you can discover sacred space carved out for your waiting, confused, heavy, and hopeful soul by the Church that is your home.
We invite you to enter in to Advent before you rush toward Christmas. This week, what if you spent time reading about Mary in the gospels? Imagine yourself into her story and ask her son, Jesus, to help you wrestle with hard human truths according to the hidden but hopeful grace of Emmanuel, God with you.
The Kaleid Team
P.S. We loved this article about Advent by Tish Harrison Warren in the New York Times last Sunday.