Only 3 days until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) premiers this Friday, November 19th. Here’s how mixed up and neglected our spiritual lives get – I’ve been more excited about the movie than I am about the approach of the Feast of the Nativity. Would I go stand in line for hours to attend Divine Liturgy? I’d like to think so but I don’t know if I’d be so happy about it.
Posts Tagged ‘Feast of the Nativity’
how can anything else seem important? We should be out in the streets shouting for joy. We should be falling down to our knees and praising God for this miracle. We ought to be crying with happiness and amazement at what God has done for us. Did I do anything remotely like this today? Not at first…first I had to have a nose-out-of-joint, indignant snit, followed by a good ‘ol fashioned spell of feeling sorry for myself. The cause? Unfulfilled expectations about the perfect family Christmas celebration. Fatigue and stress caused by incessant cookie baking, house cleaning and meal preparation. And unsympathetic and uncharitable feelings towards the entirely human nature and weaknesses of those closest to me, which at any other time of the year I freely exhibit, but which are more easily excused or overlooked without the magnification of Christmas hopes and dreams. Basically, I’m a sinner with a Yule log in my eye.
So what pulled me out of my funk? I went to Divine Liturgy this morning at 9 am and several things happened that brought me back to the reality of the Nativity. The funny thing is that all of them weren’t even things that you could consider spiritual, but God isn’t always going to whack you with a cross to make you see what an idiot you are.
A beautiful, white Great Egret flying across a sun-broken cloud bank….angelic little babies and toddlers dressed in their sparkly, frilly Christmas dresses and suits….bright red Cardinals hopping in the leaf-strewn churchyard…the sound of a dearly loved former priest’s voice as he helped serve Christmas Day Liturgy….my kids playing happily with their new toys and giving me Christmas hugs.
As the Grinch learned, Christmas comes no matter what. So how you spiritually profit from the day depends totally on your outlook. If you’re looking for perfection in the human celebration of the Feast you will always be disappointed. The only perfection is in Christ himself who was perfect God and perfect man and appeared this day as a little child.
God bless you all and I hope you didn’t have to go through the spiritual spanking I had to appreciate our Saviour’s birth. Enjoy the video below that has been making the rounds of a few Orthodox blogs. It is just beautiful and gets right to the real reason we celebrate Christmas.