Bringing the Text to Life
The Advent season is a decoration season. In fact, most churches designate a decoration day called "Hanging of the Greens" or some such title. During Advent we spend a great deal of time decorating - we decorate our shops, streets, homes, trees, sometimes even ourselves with an upbeat mood, unusual sprightliness and even an unfamiliar smile to strangers.
There are two things to remember about these decorations. First, they are temporary. The tinsel, the trinkets, the lights come down and are stored away until next year. All too often with the dismantling goes the smile, the singing, the sprightly gait. Second, these decorations are exterior decorations - things seen, not unseen; things outside, not inside; things visible, superficial and artificial, not things of the spirit.
The exterior decorations we rely on now to get us in the "Christmas spirit" often do remarkably little to alter the barren landscape of our souls. Red-nosed reindeer, spray-on snow and hosiery on the mantlepiece ...