“But about the day and hour no none knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 2:36 (CEB)
When I was growing up, I thought time moved SO slowly. My parents used to tell me that it would change when I got older – they were right. Where does time go? Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to catch up with myself as I try to work ahead but still be true to the present week.
What happened to November? Here we are at the first Sunday of Advent – already? Yes, already! Jesus reminds us always that we are to be prepared, and in this passage of Matthew, he also reminds us that we just never know when our time will come – whatever or whenever it may be.
Advent is a great reminder to us of the need for preparation. I’m not talking about the usual holiday parties, buying gifts, decorating, or any of the outward signs and symbols of the season. As we all know, the whole thing has been overly commercialized anyway. The saying, “Keep Christ in Christmas” even has become a rather trite saying without much meaning.
I have to confess that Advent and Christmas, as much as I love the music, the scripture stories, and being with some of the folks I love, still is a kind of sad time for me. Maybe I have been away from my family of origin for so long that it has lost some of the feelings of excitement and warmth even though I try to recreate it with my husband and two churches.
One of the things that helps – really and truly -IS to keep “Christ in Christmas” – believe it or not! When my focus is on the spiritual reasons for preparation and celebration, I stay more focused, too. It’s really not about the gifts, the food, the parties, or the decorations. It’s about Jesus and how God loved us enough to become one of us.
So, this year, I will probably – once again – only put up my small creche collection instead of a tree. Somehow the reminder of that gift fills me far more than the rest of the “stuff.” I also love to see the excitement in the children’s eyes and remember the “magic” of the season when I was a child.
Yes, things change, but when they do, we have an opportunity to find something new – some new blessing – in it. How will you find yours?
In what ways can you celebrate Christmas by keeping Christ at the center?
How will you help others in the midst of shopping, decorating, and preparing?
When will you take time to spend with God?