“Joy to the world the Lord has come, let earth receive her King.” Wow, Christmas Day! Can you believe it? All of a sudden your holiday rushing around may have stopped. But, are you ready to receive the newborn child? How has your Advent been? Only you can tell if it has been full of running around trying to get things accomplished or if you have had time to prepare for the coming of this very special person into our lives.
Reading the book REJOICE! Advent Meditations with Joseph during this Advent, and reflecting on Joseph more than I ever have, has put a new perspective on my Christmas Day. If you remember, when I started Advent I talked about preparing for a person and not a day. This can be a great challenge. Do you feel any different because of your Advent preparations?
The Advent preparation reminded me of how the niece of Fr. Tom Haggerty, our pastor at Sts. Philip and James Parish in St. James, NY, was preparing for the birth of her second child. There was such expectation, excitement, and joy as she, her husband, the “big” sister, and the rest of the family awaited the child’s birth. Well, December 17th was the big day and all were joy filled to greet this new member of the family. Fr. Tom shared how wonderful it was to see the love they had for their newborn. It is indescribable and yet a wonder to watch. What an experience to have at this time of the year or any time!
You see, this family was waiting for a person who would forever change their lives. No day will be the same since this baby was born. What about you? Does Christmas bring to you the person of Jesus, or is it a day that you are glad has finally arrived and will soon be gone? Picture Mary and Joseph, weary from their journey, yet joyful at the birth of Jesus. They knew their lives would never be the same, and as Mary gazed at the face of her infant child she realized she was looking upon the face of God, Emmanuel, God with us. From those moments on, our lives also changed and we need to remember that God is always with us.
As this Christmas Day comes to an end, check in to see if you truly prepared yourself to receive a person. If you did, your life will never be the same. As people enter our lives they challenge us to grow and become our best self. Take some time for yourself just to look over what has happened to you during your Advent preparation and the events of this day. I think you may be surprised.
Until next year, God bless,