2016, 2017, Advent, Advent 2016, Bah Humbug, Blue Christmas, Christmas, Christmas Eve, Cranky, grouch, Hope, irritable, joy, lament, Love, New Year, peace, progressive Christianity, Scrooge
Much like living with a high pitch noise that won’t go away, I feel as if I am experiencing this Advent/Christmas season with a humming irritation swirling inside of me more than I’ve experienced in other years.
Maybe it’s due to the amount of work I wish I could do but haven’t gotten done. Maybe it’s due to the things I haven’t gotten accomplished – like Christmas cards (for the billionth year in a row) and how many more extracurricular tasks have to complete before December 25. Maybe it’s due to all of the failures of this past year or what isn’t going right in my life – according to the world’s expectations. Maybe it’s due to my endometriosis flaring up a bit (not enough to stop me from getting things accomplished but enough to make me slightly grouchier than the norm). Maybe it’s due to disastrous political and heartbreaking world events of the past few months.
Now, I won’t describe this as melancholy, because I wouldn’t categorize this as sadness or depression. Sure, there are moments of sorrow due to the shortened days and lack of peace in our world. But my Blue Christmas is not a traditional lament. Rather, I’m irritated. And this lingering frustration will not subside no matter how many episodes of Modern Family and Parks and Recreation I watch, how many times I view Love Actually or how many peanut butter and chocolate candies I eat.
And all I want to say… or scream…is BAH HUMBUG!
My annoyance at the circumstances of 2016 has placed a filter for the joy of the season. It’s drowned hope. It’s robbed my soul of peace, and loving one’s neighbor tends to suffer as a result of my irritations.
And while the presence of the Christ is in my midst, there is a veil between my eyes and Christ’s presence.
So I’m praying that when the Christ candle is lit on Saturday evening, it will be the light I need to see hope, peace, joy, and love that’s been a bit absent in recent weeks. I pray that it will soothe my soul throughout these shallow-filled days. I pray that I will not allow this light that is coming into our world to diminish and that it continues to remain strong as time gives birth to 2017.