Hey everybody! Happy few days after Christmas!
My church actually didn’t have services on Christmas Eve, leaving me to join up with Tricia and Iain to attend a service in a shall not be named area in the Valley.
The service was less than inspiring in so many ways. It suffers from the malaise plaguing most churches these days, I imagine. Here’s the scripture, here’s the awful drama sketch about the scripture, here’s the carol about the scripture. Moving on to the next section. It was rote, it was standard (when it wasn’t awful, courtesy of the drama sketches. Like, even a children’s pageant of the Christmas story would’ve been fun. This was just badly written modern day vignettes performed by adults. Like, two guys are talking about how one of them just lost their job. Then he gets a call. He got a job! He’s gonna go tell everyone! Just like the shepherds told everyone when the angels told them about the Christ! Yeah, that bad.) It was killing time on what’s supposed to be a night of celebration.
But my church did have services yesterday, though it was 45 degrees in the church (they don’t have the money for central heat or air in such a big space), and sparsely attended.
But the text was on Simeon, never mind the fact that December 25th is over. Once again, this is not new for me, Simeon was one of the monologues I wrote for my Christmas collection last year. I should be giving props that they’re even mentioning Simeon, but I would’ve given them more props had they mentioned Anna the prophetess, who follows Simeon in the second chapter of Luke, and does essentially the same thing – declares that Jesus is the Christ. But nobody mentions Anna in the Christmas story, do they. Nope nope nope.
For those of us who stop reading the Christmas story once Jesus has been born, Simeon’s story is found in Luke 2: 21-35. Basically, Simeon’s been told by the Holy Spirit that he’s not gonna die until he sees the Christ. “Moved by the Spirit” he goes to the temple just as Mary and Joseph are presenting Jesus to the Lord (I THOUGHT that was code for circumcision. It's not, that happens at 8 days old. At 40days old, he's presented and dedicated. "Here's my boy! He's all yours!") He takes baby Jesus in his arms and praises God for being faithful, this is the Christ, now “dismiss your servant in peace.” And then tells Mary to essentially buckle up, your kid’s gonna cause waves, and it’s gonna hurt.
I actually dug Simeon more than I thought I would. I wrote him as a cranky person (maybe THAT’S why I related) who was old, exhausted by life and tired of people continually coming up to him, asking if they’re the Christ, is this great warrior the Christ, is this King the Christ, and Simeon has to say no, no, no.
Because you have to figure that people knew Simeon wouldn’t die until he saw the Christ. Luke knew it. Mary and Joseph marveled at it, instead of dismissing it as the rant of a crazy temple dweller. The word had gotten out about Simeon.
The people of Israel were expecting a king or a warrior to deliver them, not a baby. So who’s to say they weren’t continually shuffling people before Simeon to see if their guy was possibly the Christ?
So in the monologue, Simeon is talking about how tired he is, how cranky is he that the Holy Spirit gave him this revelation, but it’s actually a pain in the ass, and it’s been HOW long now and nothing and why did you do this to me Holy Spirit, this really sucks. Yes I believe in you, but this sucks.
And I’m tired too. It’s the end of the year, that’s always exhausting. This year has been so full of ups and downs, and if I’m honest, the ups have probably outnumbered the downs, and I’m not used to that equation, so I’m wasting energy waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I’m very close to finishing the next draft of Striped Tiger. I spent a lot of the Christmas holiday working on it. I was up at the housesitting house, with Ginger Puppy and Basil Diva Dog. They both had just come back from the beauty parlor, and looked very festive in their holiday handkerchiefs. It wasn’t until the second day that I noticed Ginger Puppy’s was Hanukah themed, which cracked me up. This explains why occasionally Basil Diva Dog beats up on her. KIDDING.
But yes, I’m tired of writing, my eyes itch, I think there’s a tumor growing on the right side of my brain, there’s a twitch under my left eye AND another one running under the left side of my butt. I’m not sick, whereas a lot of people left in Los Angeles appear to be under the weather, but the only thing I wanna do is sleep. I don’t even wanna watch movies, or read a book, because those both involve vision. I just wanna sleep, and I can’t because this is the only time of year where I have massive amounts of time TO write, and oh by the way, I’m not sleepy. I’ve discovered a new realm where I’m exhausted and not sleepy. Yay!
God has blessed me mightily with a faboo housesitting house, two lovable dogs (when a certain Diva isn’t trying to kill the other one) a recipe for shrimp scampi and the right combination of how to cook filets on the outdoor grill, and I’m grumpy.
God has blessed me mightily with a full time job with benefits, a film in the can that just got accepted into its first festival, a great start to a play that will most likely be produced next year, and I’m exhausted.
I’m such an ungrateful bitch. I’m not like Simeon, righteous and devout. I’m semi-devout, but not righteous, not really. It’s a wonder God doesn’t throw in the towel on me already.
And yet He doesn’t. And sometimes, that makes it worse, because I can’t handle the fact that He loves me, and continues to do so regardless of what I do.
I’m not depressed, people, I’m exhausted. I’m working on it. And I wonder, as I’m sure Simeon must have, when the Holy Spirit’s gonna show up and save the day. Simeon had to wait until nearly the end of his life. I’ll be so pissed if that’s the case here.
I’m hanging on, I am. With a twitching butt.