At this time of year as Advent draws to a close and Christmas is so near, people commonly ask one another, “Are you ready for Christmas yet?” Most often what people mean when they ask us if we are ready for Christmas is: Have we bought all the presents we need to get? Are they all wrapped? Are all the cookies baked? Are all the decorations up? Are the Christmas cards addressed and sent? Trying to get all of these things done in a very short period of time can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety.
Yes, all of these things are necessary. Also necessary is our spiritual preparation for Christmas. Our spiritual preparation helps us to keep focused on what is most important about this time of year. We celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior given to us by God as the greatest gift we could ever receive.
Listening carefully to our scriptures today reminds us that Bethlehem is the place of Jesus’ birth. The Gospel story of the Visitation reminds us of the practical preparation needed for the birth of a child. Mary and Joseph celebrated the first Christmas and reflected on all the events in their hearts. We too are called to reflect upon the events of Christmas past and present. In order to do so we need to spend some time in quiet.
Perhaps one way to make our final preparations for Christmas this year would be to attend Lessons and Carols, Sunday, December 20th at 4:00 p.m. here at St. Louis. In whatever way we celebrate the Birth of Christ again this year, may it be a source of blessing for you and your loved ones.