It seems that Advent, the season we’re in now, doesn’t bring me as much joy as it does for others. Someone, I don’t remember who, recently suggested that Advent is Lent-lite.
And I submit it may be true. Just as the Lent precedes the Easter Resurrection, so too is the waiting for the birth. The songs can be somber and in minor key.
It may be Seasonal Affective Disorder, “a type of depression that reoccurs during the winter months and typically lasts until the spring or summer.” The early snow did not help.
Back in the 1980s, I used to go visit my parents’ house in Charlotte, NC January, around Martin Luther King’s birthday. The perfect timing was mandated by doing seasonal music at church and the heavy retail period at the store I worked, FantaCo, followed by doing inventory just after the first of the year.
But I reckon that I also become despondent over how the season has been taken over. Mark Evanier said, “I’m not a Christian but I used to have a very strong respect for what they stood for,” and I knew too well what he meant.
When Christianist apologists act Unchristian, when they “show that on immigration, race, and poverty, white evangelical Protestants have surrendered moral judgment and social responsibility, ” it makes me somewhat angry, but mostly incredibly sad.
Alternet suggests the so-called “war on Christmas” for a proxy war for white supremacy. And it sounds about right.
Then Christmas Eve arrives. It still involves waiting, but it is now of a very short duration. The music that we sing generally has a special magic.
The service has some of the structures of the previous years, yet it always has something new. I trick myself into believing that, for a short while at least, all IS right with the world.