Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Movember!

It's November today. All Saints...or Souls.....or Hallows. hallows is the best. It sounds Harry Potter. November, though, is not really all that exciting. It's a classic bittersweet time. Of course, there's Thanksgiving, and being thankful for all we've got, which is rather important, the coming of the to be a good thing....but the year is dying...the dark closes in, it gets cold...November's annoying premature celebration of Christmas, "Christmas" itself plastered everywhere in a really blatantly pagan way...consumerism gone wild at a time when we should be contemplating the need for an Incarnate God...some men grow beards.
(I'll bet you didn't see that coming, did you?)
Yes, November, in some circles, is even called "Mo-vember" because men grow mustaches for prostate cancer research, and it becomes a marvelous competition for facial hair lunacy and grandness. Being in a household of men, (big, hairy men) who are forever up to a challenge, November and its mustache craze is something I....well....dread. Not that I don't appreciate a good 'stache! I remember the seventies and Magnum P.I.! But I'm not a super-big fan of facial hair. Overall, it seems kind of scary, but that's just me. I suppose the Theological thrust to this is that I can see things coming that I know I don't like, and I know are outwith my control..death and dark, glitzy Christmas stuff everywhere...advertisers trying to get us to buy stuff we don't need with money we don't with big, wacky mustaches...and the kicker is: others find great joy in all this. Yes they do! And that is the truth of it, and the bittersweet of it! Stuff is going on all around that I, quite frankly, don't like. 
What to do? What to do?
This is a tension; a real tension between sacrificing my wants and needs and pretending to go along with the fun(groan), and just being honest and being a stick in the mud. Where is God in this, and what is God calling me to do here?
If I rant against the culture, if I unplug early Christmas decorations, if I shave off crazy mustaches in peoples' sleep I might very well feel somewhat better, but in what way am I living out God's call to be the hands and feet of Christ? To be flesh, created by God and acting out God's wishes?
It's a tough one.
And yet, in just writing what annoys me about November helps me put it in perspective. If I simplify what it is God is saying to me at this time of year, this time when we finish up the liturgical year and get pulled down into the dark of Advent and the cycle beginning again, I am reminded again:

Love God with all that I am: heart, mind, soul, strength!

Love my neighbor as myself.

That is all. That is our job. All the rest is detail.

So turns another year. God is still speaking. Neither dark, nor cold, nor frivilous waste, nor facial hair changes the covenant between a steadfast, loving God, and God's People. least the Movember Campaign raises money for cancer research!

Peace. Love.
Be the hands and feet!

And here's tonight's sunset because nobody has a hairy enough face's just day one!