This week Mr. Isaac Hallgrimson shares an observation & reflections about these few & precious weeks before Christmas. Next week, Dr. Kester will do the same….
Yesterday was Sunday, November 29th, 2020. As most of your students never do, there were some last-minute sprints to complete the homework that had collected a week’s worth of dust. After a few conversations concerning the means of getting through the work, one of them said, “Only two more weeks to go.”
Now perhaps it was wishful thinking on their behalf in skipping a whole week—we actually have three weeks of school until Christmas Break—or they were going to call Mrs. Warren for math help after they got done with me. Either way, what really struck me was the emphasis they put on the statement.
Now, without giving the individual away, I imagine there are at least two ways you could express that statement.
1. “Only two more weeks to go.”
2. “Only two more weeks to go.”
At this point, I’m really hoping you can see that in the first, I put the emphasis on the “only,” and in the second the emphasis is on “more.” The first sees the work of education in our community as something prized, something enjoyable, something that nurtures their affections—because they love it and want to hold onto it for as long as they can. The second, which I will readily admit, is where I, and perhaps most of us, default. There’s a breath ahead of us if we can just hold out.
Now, I know most will say something like, “And a time to be with family and celebrate Christ’s birth.” And you’re right, but for the sake of argument, concede for me that we tend to view the present time as only a means to get to “that better time ahead of us.” As the old adage goes, “Everyone’s working for the weekend.”
What most Christians don’t savor is the fact that we get to have it both ways. “The magnificent mystery and paradoxical beauty of the ‘already and not yet,’” as Dr. Kester might say. The Advent of our Savior into this broken world marks the change for humanity’s destiny. The hope of what’s yet to come is presently in our heart—The Holy Spirit. The war is decided. The end is sealed. And as we wait, as we groan, praying for the end of certain seasons… an end to Covid, an end to political drama, an end to the three weeks leading up to Christmas; let us find present rest and joy in the already. The Eternal Already, who is Christ our King.
This Christmas, be sure your emphasis is in the right places for the right reasons. “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
- Isaac Hallgrimson, Upper School Dean