We celebrated the First Sunday of Advent, as well as the beginning of Hanukkah, with our friends from CBST this morning, in a service centered on our ongoing work around “the Soul of Sanctuary.” Advent, Donna reminded us, is “the gradual, sure coming of a small light,” just as the single light of the menorah on the first night of Hanukkah can look rather small.
Rabbi Marisa Elana James of CBST offered an interpretation of the Hanukkah story I really appreciated: the miracle wasn’t just that “the oil lasted for eight nights,” but that, in the face of the tyranny and destruction embodied by the Roman Empire, the Maccabees chose to light the lights in their temple anyway. In the face of empire, the Maccabees admitted the imbalance of power in the situation, but refused to accept the Empire’s vision for their way of life.
We celebrated Agape with the usual smorgasbord of whatever the people brought. Today I remembered Christ’s death and resurrection with a generous wedge of a Dunkin’ glazed, washed down with apple juice.
Michael’s uncle recently passed away. He remembered him as the kind of man who made sure to prepay the tab for the repast after his own funeral.
Later, we put up our Christmas tree. We have many more ornaments than we have real estate on or for our tree, a New York City Christmas parable if I’ve ever heard one, so we chose our favorite ornaments to prioritize: a pair of mermaids that vaguely resemble the two of us; a bread dough ornament shaped like an awkward but determined Christmas tree that I made for my Gram in preschool; a bonneted little girl in a swing with a kitten in her lap; a silver cat holding up a star that Donna gave us a few years ago; an adobe Nativity scene from a fellow Jeopardy! contestant in New Mexico. And atop it all, a straw angel from Ten Thousand Villages; beneath it all, an all-too-real cat, enjoying her temporary not-so-hidden place.