Getting Ready for Christmas
The media and marketers are strong in our culture. Even in a weak economy, we are bombarded with incentives to buy what we don't need, to focus on commerce alone, to hear Christmas carols out of time and context. We are fooled into thinking that this " getting ready for Christmas" is a time of wild activity, wild stress. Like dogs searching for a lost bone, we simply dig ourselves into a dark cold hole.
It takes courage to demand truth when we're being fooled. Actually, this "getting ready for Christmas" is a quiet time, a holy time. It's a time to breathe deep, walk slow, savor all that is good. It's a time to fill our hearts with mystery not empty them with anxiety.
The mystery that lures us is the mystery of being united with Something/Someone bigger than ourselves. We long to find in Christmas the God of flesh—the God that is so real as to take on flesh—so palpable as to become human so that we might know that God who loved us into being.
Every year we affirm in advertising and church bulletins that " Jesus is the reason for the season.” As true as that phrase is, it is also sentimental. Jesus is the reason for the season, but we are so familiar now with the phrase that we treat it as we would treat an old pair of jeans we've come to feel comfortable in. The phrase, when sentimental, fails to honor the mystery of Christmas.
I guess the question I ask myself is, “If I were going to meet God, how would I want to do it?" I think I'd want to be so still that I didn't miss a single movement, a single shaft of holy presence. I would want to open every inner pocket in order to be attentive and receptive to what came to me from beyond myself. I would want to watch carefully until I felt the One I had waited so long to apprehend. Yes, I think I would be still and patient as I got myself ready to meet the One my soul loved.