So… the Christmas cake … the one which was supposed to sit and stew in Scotch for months on end, accidentally was cut into, by me, during the recent “Blizzard of 2015.” Or “of yesterday” were one to lack my delightful, dramatic flair.
It was just sitting there, in the silence of wind-driven snow, whispering “I’m yummiliscious.” Kai looked at me and the cake — back and forth as if to say “If I had thumbs and some height, I would!!!” The cake seemed to call me with gentle cooing or something equally temptressy after being soaked only weeks ago with two cups of whiskey and one of Grand Marnier. I collapsed in a heap of jelly-like un-determination (for I had planned not to eat it for six months) much the way a building collapses from dynamite charges – quickly and with no small amount of a whoosh. I dove onto the cake like it was a glass of water jauntily placed on a counter in the middle of the Sahara after a very long hike. From Paris. My actions indicated that Advent – the great season of hope and deferred gratification- is also a season of, well, trying and failing to wait. And I guess that’s my point.
Advent is a waiting time – longing, hoping, needing a savior – sure. And I am very much aware that I need a savior, and hope you do too. I need a model for life well-lived. I need a preacher to remind me who I am. I need a mystical change of bread and wine to remind me that something out there is powerful and, at the same time, loving and self-offering. I need this man-God to come save me – come find me – come feed me. And I think we all do. And I think that until we know that we need to cave in, and grab for Jesus, the way I grabbed for that un-stewed cake (and it was yummy!) we meet Christmas rather too cool-ly. We meet Christmas rather too much like a Dowager Countess greets a crowd from her coach – with gentle, elegant nods and slight wave of hand, while fingering a jeweled parasol.
In fact, Jesus might much rather that we greet Christmas with longing, craving, wonder, hope – grabbing at it even if a bit early, licking our fingers and admitting that God’s arrival never gets old and always feels new. May God bless us everyone. There will be time for Lent. Advent is not Lent. Advent is a time to fall of the wagon of without-ness and take a big bite! Early or not.