I can’t slow down! I have to finish Christmas shopping, the dog’s nails desperately need to be trimmed, I can’t remember when the daycare payment is due, and I need to call my state representative: I CAN’T slow down.
Listen. Breathe. Watch.
Listen and hear the patient sigh of a young woman feeling the child move with in. Hear the plodding of camels’ feet over exotic sands, the hushed murmurs of scholars consulting their books and centuries of prophecies. Hear the restlessness of the sheep as their shepherds nudge one another and point to the heavens.
Breathe and smell the first whiff of incense. The clean, heather scent of fresh hay and warm animals. The first chill of snow in the air.
Watch and see the star rise above the horizon, into the night sky. Watch the ancient journey unfold before you, a path so many have trod before.
Yes is the answer to your question.
Can I join them on their journey?
Is this the coming of the Christ Child?
Advent is upon us.
Let us journey together.
It seems like only yesterday we were blessing our young people in costumes in preparation for a fun night of trick or treating. And it was not that long ago we were stuffing ourselves with turkey and all the trimming and spending the day watching parades and football. Now Christmas is only about 20 days away.
We should not be surprised that autumn has flown by so quickly. It seems that every year passes more quickly than the one before. The department stores are always in a rush to get seasonal merchandise out; Christmas displays go up as soon as Halloween is over.
It becomes too easy to get swept up in the rush from one holiday to the next. If we don’t buy the item as soon as we see it, we may not find what we want later in the shopping season. For most of us, our days are full, so we try to get a jump on preparations in order to relax when the actual holiday arrives. We become sucked into the chaos of the world around us.
As a result, Advent becomes very necessary for us to be truly prepared for the birth of the Christ Child. The purpose of Advent is to keep us from getting swept up in the secular world and its demands. It reminds us that as Christians we are called to chart a different path of peace and quietness.
Once we have found the quiet place,
we will be able to still our hearts and hear the voice of God.
How do we go about doing this? First we look honestly at our lives. What do we truly need to do and what can we put aside? We can’t do everything and we never will achieve perfection. Once we’ve accepted this reality, we can set about deciding what we need to do. Now we are ready to set goals and plan our schedules. Set realistic expectations. By organizing our time we can begin to achieve what we want to accomplish. One of the things we need to be sure to accomplish is to feed our spirit.
To do this we need to set aside time to find that quiet place where we can center ourselves and come into God’s presence. It is too easy to dash mindlessly about the city and house trying to do everything. By centering and focusing on God, we are able to break this chaotic
Once we have found the quiet place, we will be able to still our hearts and hear the voice of God. We will be able to prepare our minds and
hearts, and most importantly, our spirits for the greatest gift the world as ever received.
May God richly bless and keep you.
With deepest affection,