"From today's RevGals Friday Five: As we prepare in our churches and our homes for Christmas to arrive, it is a time of waiting, expectation, and preparation, However, it is also a time of stress and worry.
For this Friday Five, share how you are in this transition of Advent to Christmas. As the Savage Chickens show us, we alternate between cinnamon and panic. Write about five aspects of cinnamon and panic you are experiencing or whatever is in between; maybe mention how you are reminded to stay in the present holy moment."
I think I'm about 100% in between.
1. With a new church, I am surrounded by people I don't know, some of whom are delighted or relieved that I've arrived, and some of who are filled with anxiety by my presence, and acting out strongly in response.
2. With a former church, I find myself looking back with some longing as Christmas cards arrive with little notes and bits of news.
3. With a cat in transition herself, I'm a bit frazzled. She appeared in the church parking lot last night, bones jutting out all over the place, and practically leapt into my arms. The Lovely Daughter says that she'll give her a try, which means an introduction to her well-established cat, but the kitty first needs a visit to the vet, so she'll be here for at least awhile.
4. With my children in holiday-mode transition with first jobs and little time off (and myself also with little time off), I'm frustrated and irritated. Their increased winter time on the road for quick trips home plus a flying trip down to southern Ohio to see some of my family mean another dose of stress.
5. Oh, and the big one: my college students finish up their final exam ~ a take-home essay and a short objective section today ~ this afternoon, and grades are due Monday. I'm about to finish this Sunday's sermon so that I can turn to those 24 tests and start thinking about Tuesday night's sermon. The students have been driving me crazy with emails and requests to read drafts; I will be grateful when we are down to one last stack of papers.
So . . . I'm not panicked, but I can't say that I smell cinnamon either. (Not that I would anyway, because I have no sense of smell! ~ and so, even from a metaphorical standpoint, the concept of smell doesn't do anything for me.) I have experienced little of the holiness of the season; despite what I had to say in my last post, it's a hard, hard time of year.
But here is my speck of cinnamon (whatever that may mean): Last week we went to a concert sung by the Clare College, Cambridge Choir. (The link is to a review of their evening here.) They are spectacular and, if you want some O Antiphons music for these last of Advent, their new CD, Veni Emmanuel, is the one you're looking for. As they sang the "O Adonai" piece, with the singers spaced throughout the sanctuary and the sopranos up in the choir loft, I thought: If there were angels on the first Christmas night, this is exactly what they sounded like.
I can't find a video of this particular concert, but here's their recording of a familiar piece.