“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” ~ Roy L. Smit
It seems inconceivable to me that Christmas eve is one week from today and, yet, that is the truth. Our work, these past couple of weeks, has been hastening us to that day, the day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
We have been preparing for the coming of Christmas in several ways. One of the first, and most common, of course, is our secular preparation for Christmas: buy and wrap presents, clean the house, bake cookies, address and send Christmas cards, and the like. Another way we have been preparing is spiritual: the use of an Advent wreath, a Jesse Tree, spiritual reading, reading the Bible, et cetera.
Still another way to prepare is in song. Last week at our parish, we heard the Munster Chorale present a seasonal concert. They gave us much to think about as they sang such beautiful tunes. This evening at our parish, our Schola Cantorum will present Lessons & Carols, a scripture service interspersed with Advent and Christmas hymns.
We do the things that we do to prepare for Christmas so that we can engage our hearts in our pursuit of the celebration of the day. For, unless our heart is in the day, Christmas might as well be another date in the calendar. Christmas is mystery. Christmas is love. Christmas is joy. Christmas is peace. Christmas is much more than a date and it needs to be treated as such.
Children understand Christmas. They know that the day itself will arrive and, with it, presents and food and drink and family and all the trappings that Christmas brings. But they know that Christmas Day is merely one day in the midst of several in which they get to do wonderful things. They get to serve others, they get to sing wondrous songs, they get to decorate the home.
In short, they know that Christmas Day is supposed to last for longer than a day.
We knew that at one point in our lives. Sadly, as we age, we begin to forget those things. We begin to see Christmas as a nuisance. We cannot wait for it to come and go so that we can take down the decorations and get back to our lives. My friends, Christmas IS our life. Let us live that today.
FAITH ACTION: In the midst of your preparations for the celebration of Christmas Day, reflect upon its true meaning and try to live that meaning to the fullest.