My wife and I are living in-between addresses.
I know that sounds odd, but I can find no better way to describe our living situation at the present.
Our house is now sold and belongs to another, and a new home waits in another city, so right now for these weeks stretching into the new year, we are living in-between addresses.
Among other things, this means most of our worldly goods are packed up and in storage, including eight boxes of Christmas decorations that we have accumulated over the years.
Could this be a year of no Christmas? Of course not.
Thanks to online searching, my wife, Amy, found a recipe for cookie dough ornaments: cinnamon, applesauce and glue. They smell wonderful, but take my word for it: You do not want to eat one!
The irony is that 27 years ago we were doing the same thing, but with a different recipe, for our first Christmas – making cookie dough ornaments for our first Christmas together. You make do with what you have.
This year, along with some ribbon and craft acrylics, we decorated our freshly baked ornaments, strung a couple of strands of lights on a modest tree bought at a grocery store and, at a total cost of about $40, Christmas has come to our “in-between address.”
I suppose we all are living in-between addresses.
We move from a past that can never be recovered and into a future that is anything but certain. All we have is the in-between times, the meantime, the beautiful and mysterious now.
Advent is that cosmic pause in a universe moving rapidly from one space to the next.
Mary and Joseph scuttle south heading to Bethlehem, pausing along the way to find shelter and a manger in the night. Far from home, Jesus is born homeless, a refugee in a greedy empire and an indifferent public.
Blessed is the innkeeper, nameless and for some scorned, for making a place in a stable. Blessed is Joseph, who kept the faith and provided against all other evidence. Blessed is Mary, who believed knowing that it would one day cost her what was most precious.
Blessed are all those who find beauty while in-between addresses, believing that it is not where you are from or even where you are going that matters most, but where you are right now. And wherever you are, hang an ornament, call it good and invite others to see and find joy.
In a darkened sky, field hands far away from home looked up and saw a heavenly host, celestial ornaments of that first Christmas of in-between addresses, singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward all” (Luke 2:14).
Greg DeLoach is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia. He will begin a new ministry as president and CEO of Developmental Disabilities Ministries of Georgia in January. A version of this article first appeared on his blog, Pilgrim’s Walk, and is used with permission. You can follow him on Twitter @GregDeLoach.
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Greg DeLoach is Interim Dean at McAfee School of Theology of Mercer University and Director of Development at McAfee School of Theology and College of Professional Advancement.