Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I saw it yesterday. When I saw it, I stopped dead in my tracks. For just a moment I stood there amazed. The thing was blooming again! I had been so caught up with stuff that I had not even noticed that it was filling up with buds getting ready to bloom. So, once again this office plant caught me by surprise. Some unknown person sat it in my office long years ago while I was in Vidalia. It still is in the same pot. Actually, I should say it still suffers in the same pot for it gets very little sunlight in this office and even less watering. Somehow, it manages to survive. It is indeed a a testimony to tenacity. Some call it a Christmas Cactus, others call it a Thanksgiving Cactus. Me? I have decided over the years to call it an Advent Cactus because every year as Advent draws near, it starts blooming! I love it!
Like Advent, my cactus seems to announce as it starts budding and blooming that something is getting ready to happen. It is the visible reminder that I need to start getting ready. One of the great seasons on the Christian calendar is the season that is about to dawn upon us. Over the years people are always lamenting the early onset of a commercialized Christmas and declaring that we need to put Christ back in Christmas. We need to do something to remember the reason for the season. Interestingly, enough the church has always had this season which when properly observed accomplishes that very purpose. But, like the rest of the world, it is hard for us to wait. Once December comes we will be ready to start celebrating Christmas without wanting to go through a season of waiting and getting ready.
This Advent Cactus will not be in full bloom tomorrow or the next day, but it will happen. All I can do if I want to experience it fully is to wait. Advent invites us to a different pace of living. It calls us to anticipate and to wait. Neither of those things we do very well. But, when we wait for the curtain to draw on the Christmas scene instead of constantly looking under the curtain, we will surely experience surprising joy come Christmas.

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