Tuesday, December 4, 2012
The Season of Inconvenience
Inconvenient to shop in the chilly rain or sleet. Inconvenient to find the decorations and wonder how on earth the camel became a cripple during his year of storage in the box of figurines. Inconvenient to do finals for school, or to prepare for the Christmas pageant during a highly inconvenient spate of surprisingly violent illnesses (for kids' parents, of all things!), and employment changes for kids' parents, and schedule craziness for kids' parents. (Maybe I should just gather up all the children after Thanksgiving and keep them together someplace safe.) It is inconvenient to relocate wrapping paper, or to paint the living room (a thing I might still attempt). I have no idea when I'll have time for Kringla baking. But I will have time. Always, in the end, there is enough time, and all in all, this is simply, inconveniently, the way it goes.
And why should it not be this way? After all, it's not particularly convenient to travel to a different town during the ninth month of one's pregnancy, and it's certainly not convenient to have a baby in a barn. It wasn't very convenient to have the holy oil profaned by the soldiers of Antiochus. It's not convenient to chop wood to bring in for heat, or to see to the animals during a storm. The season of lights happens because of the darkness -- and Advent brings us the most convenient thing of all.
Lamps in the temple. Baby in the stable. Candles in the windows. Such small things to conquer the powers of darkness. So inconvenient.