Preparing During Advent
Our tradition values this time of year as a challenge to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. We imagine the Christchild, the Christmas Story and seek to align our spirit to God’s love shown there.
But living during the COVID-19 era includes heightened anxiety. Jesus said “Do not be afraid” many times. Here is a link to 33 times the Bible tells us Jesus spoke that message.
Anxiety has some negative consequences but it has some positive ones, too. Feeling vulnerable to the virus helps us cope and bonds us together from a physical distance, and slows the spread of the virus. So our anxiety — while uncomfortable — is a good thing right now, especially if we manage it well.
At the same time, we must carefully avoid panic and spreading anxiety to others. We do this by setting aside time periods for purposeful calm, and mindfully engaging in normal daily activities.
So let’s all strive to seize opportunities to share lightness and humor. And to find moments of hope and resilience. For example, what if we assign a time to tell our best stories of resilience and hope in our responses to the pandemic. We could even share such stories we’ve heard or read.
It also may be helpful to make two lists: 1. of what you can control and 2. what you cannot control right now. One helpful professional advice I read suggests radical acceptance of the situations we cannot control, and measured focus on what we can do.
So let’s stay physically safe from the virus by doing all the recommended things. Consider those actions as an offering to God that not only decreases transmission of the COVID-19 virus, but also helps anxiety management. Stay home when you can. When outside the home, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. And please wear your mask well. I look forward to gathering with you again someday. Between now and then, stay resilient.
Pastor Mike Krewson