Dear Advent: You are easy to love.

It doesn’t get much better in the church than Advent. We know all the songs, we’ve heard all the stories. It’s familiar and comfortable. There’s nothing new during this time of year. Advent in the church is like getting to wear your spiritual jammies for four weeks. We get to snuggle down into the Book of Luke like a fleece blanket and pray to the Baby Jesus, like Will Farrell’s character in Talladega Nights.

During this time of year, we get to forget all the really uncomfortable things about Jesus.  We ignore that during his ministry he relied on the kindness and hospitality of strangers on a daily basis, that he challenged authority and often put his friends between a rock and a hard place and himself between them and the law.  We forget that he showed everyone that no matter Jew or Gentile we are all worthy of the love of God, that we don’t have to do anything to earn it, but that we shouldn’t take it for granted.    We have duties to each other and to the wider community where we live, more than just writing a check from our comfortable pew.  We aren’t supposed to live comfortable lives, and neither are our churches.  We are – all of us – called to reach out in faith, even during Advent, even while we’re sipping hot cocoa and listening to Christmas Carols and giving gifts, even when the snow is waist-high.  Even when we want to curl up in the pew in our favorite Jesus fuzzy slippers, there’s more work to be done.

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