This time of the year is the time of preparation for Christmas. If you can step aside from the commercial aspects of this holiday (aka, the decorations, the gift-buying, the parties, the food!) you can feel Mother Nature as she prepares us for our long winter darkness, which culminates on the first day of Winter.
Mother Nature and our Christian biblical tradition remind us that the time of waiting and preparation is one in which we are in darkness seeking the light. We call this season in the church year Advent. My most favorite church music deals with this theme in song and text. "As The Watchman waits for the dawn, so do I long for you, My God" (based on Psalm 130:6-7) Many a December dawn has reminded me of this song, dawn breaking under ripples of snow clouds overhead, with each ripple catching a glint of sunrise turning each cloud into beautiful shades of pink, mauve, blue and purple.
The natural darkness helps us to feel the longing during the waiting period that ancient ancestors experienced while waiting for the promised Mesiah. They waited and waited, for years, decades, centuries. How could they wait with hope for that long? Their strong faith kept them on course to wait for the coming of one that was promised to them so long ago.
And James admonishes his followers (James 5: 7-11) "Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the ....rains. You too must be patient."
And on Christmas day, the "Light" was born. Winter solstice brought ancients hope for the future, they knew that soon the days would no longer be darker and darker, but light would soon come their way. So, too, with the celebration of the Birth of Christ, He, is the Light that we seek who has finally come to walk in our midst.
Like children waiting in tingling anticipation for Santa to come, we wait for our Savior's birth. We can all remember that long wait for Christmas to come, our patience tested as the days go by so slowly. Let's think about why we really celebrate this holiday, and focus on anticipation for the birth of our Savior.
So, if there is a message here, it is Keep Christ in Christmas--no X-mas celebrations, only CHRISTmas celebrations! And, patience, people, the Lord will soon come!
See This D*mn House Dec. 11 post for the inspiration to this piece!