Take The Time Necessary

29 Nov

“Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehems of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.”  ~ Edward Hayes

There are many people who never get the full “benefit” of Christmas.  Oh, they will definitely celebrate the day.  They may have family over for dinner or go somewhere for Christmas dinner.  They may send and receive cards, exchange gifts, and do other things that are a part of the day.  However, they will do all of those last minute and/or as needed.  There will be little, if any, planning on their part.  Therefore, Christmas Day may end up feeling empty, even with all the pageantry in place.

That is what happens when we do not take the time to prepare.  It doesn’t only happen at Christmas.  It happens all throughout the year.  If there is an important event coming up — important to us or important to a number of people — preparation really needs to be a part of the event in order for it to come across the way it is intended.

As we are at the beginning of Advent, we can ask ourselves the all-important question: Are we prepared for the season?  Notice, I didn’t ask “Are we prepared for Christmas?”  I asked, Are we prepared for the season?

The season of Advent is crucial to believers because it gives us time, precious time, to prepare for so wondrous a feast.  The birth of Jesus Christ is not merely another birthday of another person in the world.  It is the birthday of He who changed everything for us.  His coming reminds us of the hope that will be restored to us by His death and resurrection.  Christmas, then, points us to Easter and all of its glory.  That is definitely a lot upon which to reflect.

People use the season of Advent according to what best suits them and their spirituality.  Some use the traditional Advent wreath.  Others use a Jesse tree.  Still others divide the season with scripture.  However you use Advent, make sure that you take the time necessary on a daily basis to reflect upon the richness both of the season as well as of the season to come.

If we take the time to use each day as fully as we can, Christmas will be more than a day for a dinner with family or friends.  Christmas will be a profound spiritual experience that prompts us to look forward to the glory that awaits us all.

FAITH ACTION:  Make sure that you schedule time in your daily activities to reflect upon what Christmas means to you and for you.