For those of you who don't get why my last two posts have had random number titles: it's advent - the beginning of the church calendar, the time during each year when we await the birth of Christ. Obviously, I'm already behind on posts, but I don't care and I don't think you do either.

Over the years, I've often wondered why we bother "waiting" for Christ's birth. It's already happened. What's the point in pretending? But this year, as I wait with some expectancy for a job offer, I am beginning to see the reason for this time of preparation. Sometimes we need to consciously slow down so that we don't miss the great thing that's coming. This measured approach to the Christmas celebration makes the day itself more meaningful and, in some ways, more joyous because we are reminded what it's all about. If we are mindful, our eyes should be wide open by the time Christmas Day arrives and no amount of consumerism or family angst or stress will be able to distract us from the joy of this season.

May all five of you be blessed with times of slowness and rest during this advent season.

The wolf will romp with the lamb,
the leopard sleep with the kid.
Calf and lion will eat from the same trough,
and a little child will tend them.
Cow and bear will graze the same pasture,
their calves and cubs grow up together,
and the lion eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child will crawl over rattlesnake dens,
the toddler stick his hand down the hole of the serpent.
Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill
on my holy mountain.
The whole earth will be brimming with knowing God-Alive,
a living knowledge of God ocean-deep, ocean-wide.

-Isaiah 11:6-9
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