It sure is.
Advent is breathing down our necks, all of us. Pagan friends debate solstice gifts and traditions. Clergy types stress about each word for our worship services. If you live in America, there’s an almost irresistible pull towards the Target store, Cyber Monday, buying our pink aluminum trees.
Do you think I’m going to get all preachy about consumerism?
Nope. I’m not. And here’s why. I was ready to get my Advent on. I was ready to do my fourth consecutive year of the Advent Conspiracy, where we talk about how the gift of clean water is perhaps more important that that sweater she doesn’t need or that extra toy he won’t notice.
But then I read this. Go read it. I’ll wait.
I got to meet Jenee on a Chickpastor cruise put on by the Revgals a few years ago, where we studied preaching texts with her for a few days on a wobbly Carnival ship. She’s got a way of making you see things differently, and much of that is due to her son, who has autism. She told us that when she read the Bible story of the demonic man screaming at Jesus, she read it as the demon’s mother.
And now she’s changed my preachiness about Advent to…something else.
I’m still gearing up for the assault of the ads. I’m still hoping to give to people who have less than nothing instead of giving too much. I want to walk through Target and only buy what I need (still working on that one!) But it’s been reframed.
Instead, what I want to do is look for miracles where I might least expect them. I want to celebrate consumerism, if it means that a young man might have a better life. I want to peek into mangers all over the place, searching for that baby, that miraculous child, that light in the darkness.