December – the ending of the old year and awaiting the new-year; anticipating 2013 to be filled with new dreams, new goals and new hopes. Even while we celebrate newness, a new year means another birthday. We grow older but not necessarily wiser. We grow physically but not necessarily spiritually.
In the Christian tradition, December is the season of Advent. A time of waiting and a time of preparing ourselves to celebrate, not just the event of Christmas, but the revelation of God’s amazing love given to mankind in the simplicity of a babe in the manger.
In addition to “Joy to the World”, Isaac Watts (1674-1748) is credited with having written 750 hymns, scores that continue to be sung today and have been translated into many languages. The message of his lyrics is deep and mystical. It has been said of his work that “many know not the meaning of the words they sing.”
Advent is a time to consider the wisdom of the ages handled down in tradition and celebration. To see how the story of hope and joy and peace is played out in our holidays (holy days). It is a time to use outward preparation as a springboard to reflect on internal meaning and significance.
Listen to the words of our songs and the melody of our hearts for continuity.
Let us today make room for the true meaning of Christmas, by welcoming the Christ-child into our lives and our homes.
I took me awhile to warm to the idea of getting spiritually ready for Christmas. I hesitate to admit that I thought I was spiritually ready. Getting ready started the year I heeded the conviction to remove all secular reminders from my decorations, cards and speech. I gladly admit now that each season is a time to further ponder that Christmas “means a little bit more”.
Although there may still be much to do – cleaning, baking, decorating, gifting, celebrating – ‘Yes’ as a matter of fact I am ready for Christmas. At lease spiritually, which is, after all, what the season is about.
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