Untangling Work

December 1, 2022 | Read Time: 2 mins

By: Rev. Mark Sorensen

Not that I am look for another job, but I recently ran across a “help wanted” posting that caught my eye. The position was for a Christmas light untangler. Did you know this was a thing? Apparently so. A British supermarket company recognized that getting ready for Christmas can be a stressful time. With all the shopping, cleaning and unpacking of the decorations, you also have those pesky strands of Christmas lights that you didn’t store properly the year before and now they’re a tangled mess. Well, if that’s you, fear not. All it takes is a quick trip across the pond. According to the help wanted ad, the 36-hour a week position requires candidates to have the “gift of untangling 10 feet of Christmas lights within a three-minute period” as well as checking lights for signs of breakage. Oh, one last caveat: candidates must also be “passionate about Christmas.” I guess that can’t hurt!

Truth be told, things get tangled, don’t they? Take the holidays for example. The holidays can certainly be a wonderful time for many, but for others, it can be a tangled mess of emotions, not unlike the events that surrounded the Nativity story over 2,000 years ago. 700 years prior to “Good news of great joy that will be for all people” (Luke 2:10), there was a whisper through the prophet Isaiah of a Messiah to come who would be a deliverer, redeemer and restorer of God’s people. What followed? Waiting. But then the heavens opened up before some lowly shepherds with the Good News that was coming to dwell with us all: Immanuel, God with us. And with Jesus? Everything changed.

Where the world had been tangled up in despair, chaos, sadness and hatred, the four candles of Advent remind us that – through the gift of Christ – despair untangles into hope, chaos into peace, sadness into joy, and hatred into love.

I pray that in the midst of this liturgical season of Advent, we invite the Holy Spirit to do the work of untangling that which is messy in our lives, to reveal the beauty being offered to us all through the gifts that come with Jesus.

Hope to see you all this Sunday as we light our next Advent candle together!