Embodying Advent

Watching and waiting require patience.  Most of us are are impatient people.  That's why drive through fast food, pharmacy, banking, and dry cleaning exist because it is supposed to be fast and quick with little or no waiting.  Most often, we get all "out of joint" and even frustrated when we have to wait in line.

Living with and accepting the mystery of the unknown, the mystery of miracles, the mystery of the divine, and the mystery of impossible things happening requires watching, waiting and patience.  God is not at our beck and call--we are not in control.  Mystery, watching, waiting and patience are required life skills if you aim to live a life of assurance and peace.  Everything cannot be explained with logic and reason.

Mary and Joseph as a young engaged couple discovered this about life up close and personal.  They spent their married life waiting, watching, and, like those of us who practice the faith of Christianity, they learned that being patient is difficult and yet rewarding in unexpected ways.  Joseph rushed into a decision to divorce Mary, and then reconsidered when God's messenger, an angel, in a dream convinced Joseph that mystery, waiting and watching were about to become his way of living.

I believe that the commercial and secular part of our lives have taken over the holy and the practice of the Christian faith.  The season of Advent--the beginning of the church liturgical year--is about waiting and watching for the Messiah--God with Us--to enter into the world.  It is really about remembering each year that this has already happened and remembering the way it all came about.  It is also about remembering God with Us is a daily event and not a once a year celebration.

This year I decided to make an Advent statement with my nails.  in the face of red and green of Christmas and in the practice of wishing everyone a Merry Christmas when Christmas and Christmastide (the church calendar seasons) don't begin until December 25 (although for most retailers it begins with pushing Christmas merchandise is October--with a nod to Nordstrom Department Stores for waiting until after Thanksgiving Day to decorate and bring out their Christmas marketing--thank you), I decided a practice I could implement (with the help of the fabulous Nail Technician and friend who keeps my nails for me, Kim Jones of Shenanigans Hair Studio in Buford, GA) to remind me and teach others about the season of Advent was to have the liturgical colors of Advent (blue and purple) on my nails.  It was fun and joyful to have all the responses to these beautiful nails.

Although many people, at first, thought it was just me exhibiting some of my "normal" outrageous and fun behavior, each person who noticed my nails received a reminder and "mini-lesson" that taught them that this is the season of Advent and that blue and purple are the colors the church uses to celebrate this season of waiting and watching for God with us.

I think I have started an annual practice for me...a trend for others to follow?


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