“Are You Ready for Christmas?”


“Are you ready for Christmas?” asked a guy I see almost every day as I walk Brock around the block. I thought of the gifts I still need to buy and the calendar crammed with holiday events and parties, and I shook my head. “Not yet,” I said, and we both laughed knowingly.

On my walk I let my mind ponder that question a little deeper. “Am I ready for Christmas?”

This time I thought about the meaning of the holiday – the Son of God coming to earth to dwell among us and show us the way to eternal life.  Emmanuel.  Again I shook my head and murmured to myself, “Actually, I am ready!”

It was then that I vowed to take advantage of every opportunity to prepare my heart for the coming of the Christ Child into the world – the world you and I live in.

What I discovered was that if we know what we’re preparing for, everything we encounter on the way to Christmas 2013 can prepare us for the coming of Christ, not only in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago but also into our homes, our families, our workplaces, and our communities. The usual December distractions can instead become holy moments when we find the Christ Child in our midst.  Emmanuel.

Having the right attitude and perspective on the season will help us all avoid the excesses that make certain Christmas preparations frantic – and sometimes draining and disappointing. As one theologian put it, “The task seems to be a delicate one of learning to make the customs and traditions of Christmas serve the Spirit.”

May I recommend that we all take a look at some of December’s demanding activities with new eyes – eyes that fully expect to find God in every moment of this season of hope. Emmanuel.

As Mary Chapin Carpenter sings in this beautiful song, “There’s a humble stable …. with a light within.”  May we all seek that light in this Advent season.

Happy Advent, everyone.

Peace friends,


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