“During winter, dirt roads become mostly impassable. Either they grow muddy or they become frozen and rutted. In times past, wagon wheels – precious, hard-to-construct possessions – were brought inside and hung high and dry to protect them from the elements.
“The annual winter ritual may be the origin of the Advent wreath.”
To Crown the Year: Decorating the Church Through the Seasons, Peter Mazar
There’s nothing like having the wheels off one’s vehicle to force a little stillness into one’s life! That’s how it worked back when the horse-drawn wagon was the main mode of transportation. Nowadays, with snow tires and four-wheel drive, only the fiercest weather keeps us off the roads.
Good thing, too, because we’ve got stuff to do! This is especially true in December as we prepare for Christmas – shopping, cooking, decorating, sending cards, traveling to visit loved ones near and far.
As much as I love this season, I have to admit that all of the activity might be getting me ready for Christmas, but it’s not getting me ready for Coming of Christ. What once was a season of stillness – of quiet contemplation and slowing down in the early stages of a long, dark winter – has become something other than that.
I’m not one to scold about the hectic pace and busy-ness of the secular Christmas because there is much good in many of those practices and traditions. Yet my own soul yearns for a bit more stillness, a bit more contemplation about what it means to say, “The Christ has come!”
Our faith community will concentrate on “Still Time” this Advent season. We will take time to be still, to be quiet, to calm our minds and our spirits. To listen for those angels who herald great tidings of joy. To prepare the mangers of our hearts for the birth of the One who saves.
In Christ’s love, Pastor Gage