Simplicity in Advent


The crumpet is a simple little thing.  Just water and flour and a rising agent.  It is little more than a formed pancake and yet with some butter and sunlight it can begin a day with buttery crunchy kindness.  It is very simple – toast it, slather it, eat it.  Some tea or coffee and some silent sunlight and you have the makings of a fine little breakfast.  They sell them at Sprouts.

Advent is such a loud time for the world around the church.  The noise makes headlines on the morning after Thanksgiving day in which one wonders at the insanity f a shopping season designed by politicians to launch with Thanksgiving and end with the New Year. Shoppers wander as if in a zombie state of forced march and the purchases light wires with digital math.

One year I was given a set of crumpets for Christmas on the second week of Advent.  It is one of those gifts one never forgets.  Every day I sat with that crunchy butter sponge and a cup of tea (the gift came with six crumpets and six tea bags.  Of all the merchandise I have received (and dropped off at the Goodwill deck) I remember this set of crumpets and tea bags.  Within a week they were gone and yet they come back to my mind every Advent inviting me to take this season in a countercultural way.

What if we made a pact with ourselves that all our Christmas gifts would be ones which facilitated a brief time of silence and delight for the one to whom our gifts are given but which are consumed within a week – and gone? Some cookies.  Some tea. Some hot chocolate ingredients. A gift certificate for a massage. What if our gifts were gifts of silent delight?  What if that kind of gift was our statement to a culture which has simply gone mad with the giving of gifts which end up in yard sales?  And what if that gift were given with an offer of time – that gold standard of our day?

Dear you;

Please enjoy this bread, tea and jam.  May we have it together one day next week so that we may connect and encourage our friendship?

Love, me. Merry Advent.

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