And so it begins but too often what gets lost in the stress of entertaining and gifting is meaning – what the season means to each of us and not just some preachy, sophomoric pablum but an answer to why we spend so much time in preparation, in shopping, in doing whatever it is we do. My suggestion is to grab a glass or cup of a favorite beverage and, as Garrison Keillor would say, sit awhile. Be open, be honest, and be hopeful. And then consider that what makes this season so special is not just the cookies or the gifts or the parties. What makes this season special is that we can share with our families, our communities, our world the joy of simple acts of kindness, the excitement of ridiculous acts of generosity, and the welcoming arms of relatives, of family, of friends, of community. And we do so as a response to the presence of a power, a presence greater than “me”. And it’s a power which has inspired believers to confront violence with love, hatred with kindness, injustice with courage. It’s a power we call God and this is the season we embrace that presence as symbolized by the birth of a child. And so spend some time sipping and sitting and daring to laugh, love, and live a little bit this season of expectation and preparation!
Tom Williams, The Interim