God is coming! God is coming! All the element we swim in, this existence, echoes ahead the advent. God is coming! Can’t you feel it? – Walter Wangerin, Jr.
I woke up this morning. That’s good. However, I have come down with a bad cold. Not good. Why do I have a tendency to do this at this time of year? Maybe it’s the cold weather. I have too much to do to get ready for Christmas. It seems that there is always so much more to do than I have the time to accomplish. That is not good for an apprentice of Jesus. He does not want us to be so stressed. I think that this all means that I am trying to do more than what needs doing. Sigh. But as long as I don’t run out of Kleenex and cold pills, I may be able to write this meditation.
I remember reading a meditation by Sharon Jaynes a few years ago, where she says, “It seems like everywhere you go during the month of December people ask the same question. At the grocery checkout counter—‘Are you ready for Christmas?’ At the bank drive through window—‘Are you ready for Christmas?’ At the doctor’s office—‘Are you ready for Christmas?’”
Well, my answer to that is always, “Nope. No way.” I usually say that Christmas isn’t here until the 25th of December and I have 12 days after that, until Epiphany, to celebrate and finish up all that I have not managed to get done. (However, I still don’t get done.) I am trying to simplify this year. I always say that, too. What does “ready” mean?
Sharon said that a voice spoke to her in a dream and asked, “Ready for Christmas, what do you mean?” She said she would rephrase the question and ask, “Am I ready for Jesus?” That puts the whole thing in perspective doesn’t it? Are we ready for Jesus? Am I? Our Advent meditations and antiphons say, “Come, Lord Jesus.” We aren’t only remembering the yearning of the Jewish people. This is our yearning, too. We are not only asking for Jesus to come at the end of time, which he will and we long for that. But, what we need, desire, and for which we pray is for Jesus to come, today, now. We need Him to come into our hearts and lives. Are we ready for Jesus to take over? Transform us? Use us to spread His Kingdom? Use us to accompany each other on the journey? Use us as His hands and feet in a dark and hurting world? Use us as light so that others can find the way? Are we ready for this? If so, all we need to do is say, “Yes, Jesus, I am ready. I am ready for Christmas. Come. Come, Lord Jesus.’”
Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us. We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom. We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence. We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!” ~ Henri Nouwen
Have a Blessed, Peace filled Christmas beaming with the Light and Love of Jesus.