Even though today is the beginning of the last week of Advent, and we actually have a full four weeks of Advent this year, I must admit to being a bit liturgically mixed up.
For one thing, I’ve been experiencing a lot of waiting and expectation these past few months, so on the one hand I feel like my Advent has been much longer than usual. And given that some of the expectation will continue into the new year, my Advent will also continue.
Next Sunday is of course Christmas, but I’ve not gotten much into the spirit just yet. This will be a simple and easy Christmas spent with community in a much needed low key kind of way. Spiritually, I am ready to welcome God with us, Love incarnate, and to remember and share that miracle through ritual and prayer and celebration. Christmas is good, even if I’m not super into all the festivities this year.
Then there is the rhythm of ordinary time, which we won’t take up liturgically for a while but in our lives is part of the every day mix, some good, some bad, all of it part of life. I’ve been reflecting a bit on the storms of life, both literal (we had a minor winter storm yesterday that has turned to mild rainy weather) and the figurative ones in our lives that rock our world from time to time.
The other day, a song popped up on my play list on my music player in the car. I’ve been avoiding Christmas songs, trying to stay in the Advent mood, so the other day I listened to a play list I created for retreat a few years ago. It included a song I’ve not listened to much, by singer songwriter Amy Speace – “How to Sleep in a Stormy Boat.” Her words and music really spoke to my heart and where I’ve been a bit lately, seeking peace in the midst of the storm. The song has helped me to bring that to prayer, and today I spent some time in prayer creating a video prayer set to her words and music.
It’s not necessarily liturgically appropriate for the fourth Sunday of Advent, but life is pretty stormy right now for many people I know and even more I don’t know, so I offer this as a pre-Christmas gift in case it is helpful on your journey.