There's just something about worship during the month of November that gets to me. Ever since I was a small child, I remember November as a 30-day vessel for promise and hope for the joy of the Season to come.
The publicly personal celebration of that fact begins with my sister Karen's birthday on the 10th and continues with Veterans Day observances and we touch base with the reverence we hold for those who serve to keep us free. Then we know that Advent is just around the bend...and Thanksgiving fixings are considered, shopping lists are made, calendars fill up with holiday events, bells ring, snow crunches, choirs rehearse and our hearts prepare for the coming of the Lord's birthday.
Every year, no matter how cold October was, November warms my heart like a cup of hot chocolate with all the tender traps of holiday decorations, songs of the Season, stuffings for turkeys, ribbons, bows, evergreens, lights, camera...action. This is the time of year I listen to the all-Christmas carols, all the time radio station. I rehearse my alto part to The Messiah for the Chancel Choir's presentation less than a month away (whew), I strategically place angels throughout my house and office for constant protection over the Joy I feel this time of year...coz I am not giving away my Joy any more. Folks will try to snatch it away, but I'm keeping it close to me. I'm going to watch I'm going to sing carols all the way through New Year's Day (and beyond :) Sure, there will be some who will scoff, worry about buying their kids toys and clothing that are much too expensive for their budgets, gripe about how they hate Christmas music, especially if it's played 'too early' -- but someday their hearts will be softened, and they, too, will learn to love the Season of Joy in the most simple of ways, just by being a little kinder, a bit more understanding. That is my hope.
So, speaking of hope. I want to leave you with a prayer at the end of my Sunday afternoon ramblings:
gentle in your power and strong in your tenderness,
you have brought us forth from the womb of your being
and breathed into us the breath of life.
We know that we do not live by bread alone
but by every word that comes from you.
Feed our deep hungers with the living bread
that you give us in Jesus Christ.
May Jesus' promise, "Where two or three are gather in my name,
there am I in the midst of them," be fulfilled in us.
Through the Holy Spirit, make us a joyful company of your people
so that with the faithful in every place and time
we may praise and honor you, God Most High.
Although I am writing with regularity for a project that is unbelievably fulfilling, I do miss clearing out my heart here in Kimmyville from time to time. It is here that I bring my issues and dissect them until they begin to make sense. It is here that I learn what I truly feel about someone or an event about to happen here in the Bluegrass. It is here that I can upload whatever photo I want, whenever I want, write my own caption...or not...and press the publish button whenever I like. It is here that I bare my soul. It is here that I let my human-ness show.
It is also here that I often leave you with a peaceful goodbye, for now. Thanks for reading all this, lambchop.