I love this story about Jesus and his parents and am astonished by the author’s deep understanding of the human condition. Mary and Joseph were facing the adolescent years with a most unusual child, and yet we have only this one glimpse in scripture of that time in their lives.
Over the years I’ve taken part in some amazing celebrations. As a native Atlantan, I remember the moment in 1990 when we heard the announcement on the radio that the Summer Olympics were coming to our city. People began honking car horns and spontaneously hugging strangers in the streets.
It was a Thursday morning, and I was preoccupied with writing this article and considering the words of John the Baptist from the passage in Luke 3. John seems so out of place in Advent, I thought to myself. He speaks such harsh words of judgment and repentance when what we truly want to hear is Tiny Tim’s “God bless us everyone” to put us in the Christmas spirit.
When Advent comes, I worry, agonize and cry. Advent is daunting. Advent is my Everest. That’s why this year I’ve decided to add humor. I’ve taped a greeting card above my computer. On it is a cat offering the card’s recipient a gesture of love—in its paws it holds a heart-shaped hairball. When I’m wrestling with an Advent sermon and losing, this cartoon will explain why.