It’s strange to have a week between Thanksgiving and the beginning of Advent. Most years, it’s Thanksgiving, Friday to rest, Saturday to prepare church activities, and Sunday to light the first candle on the Advent wreath. These days are a strange bonus, extra time that I hadn’t expected and hadn’t thought to fill with planned activities or responsibilities. And the most extraordinary thing has happened: I’ve seen the moon every day as well as every night.
Seeing the moon while the sun hangs in the sky isn’t an every day occurrence, but it’s not exactly a rare thing, either. Noticing the moon by day is another thing. It’s easy to miss it, sitting at my desk, attending to the housework, driving to the market. Without night’s dark sky, the moon blends in with the clouds and is outshone by the sun. I have to look for it if I want to see it, otherwise I’ll miss it in the brightness of the day.
There’s an Advent lesson here for me, one I might have missed without this in-between week. If I don’t look for it, if I don’t leave some time open between holiday gatherings and the extra work they bring, I’ll miss out on the constant if understated presence of holiness this life holds. In the season dedicated to welcoming God-With-Us, it would be a tragedy to see the grace of God only in the expected times and places (Sundays, Christmas Eve, church services, saying grace before dinner).
The season of waiting is almost here, it’s true meaning almost in sight. Lord give me the good sense to look for it, day or night.
Photographs taken by Jared Fredrickson