Advent and Christmas invite us into an understanding of the fullness of grief and of life itself. After all, Jesus was born into the same world that we live in. It is the world where Mary is told “do not be afraid” and also is forced to travel across the desert to give birth to her baby. Herod orders the slaughter of children who’ve done nothing to deserve such a fate. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are honored by kings and then become refugees.
This is also our world. It’s a world where babies are born and loved ones die, where each year we welcome relatives into our homes, sometimes unannounced, with whom we have complicated, sometimes grief-filled relationships. Our world contains all of these moments at the same time throughout the entire year. This understanding has helped me to navigate the complexities of grieving during Advent and Christmas.
The promise of Advent is that the light of Christmas is coming.
This message is an excerpt from “One will be left” by Kristen Glass Perez in the December 2019 issue of Gather magazine.