Spiritual Notes, Dec. 10, 2007 December 11, 2007 ^
Prepare the way of the Lord
Preparing for the coming of the Lord. John the Baptist, back then, was a figure of the role of the church today. With all of the many dimensions of our preparations for Christmas, we, as Christians, must give priority to the preparation of our hearts, of our inner beings. (Jesus didn't come to be locked in a tabernacle. He came to make his home in the human heart.) As with last Sunday, there is a sense of urgency about the call to prepare the way. Not everything in our lives is important, just because it appears urgent. I can be so busy with the urgent that I overlook the important. The call of today's gospel is both urgent and important. Preparation for an event and the actual event are not exactly the same thing. John predicts an extraordinary outpouring of blessing from 'the one who is coming after me'. Our preparation for Christmas is but the beginning of blessings and of gifts that will continue for eternity.
Life is difficult, and it is very fragile. One heart attack and it's all over. Life is what happens when you're making other plans. If you want to hear God laugh, just tell him your plans! Here's another Christmas, where it can be 'here we go again', or it can be something very beautiful, very special, and very lifegiving. It is an opportunity to be recycled. It is like going through another cycle in the washing-machine of the Lord, and, for some people, it could be their 'final rinse'!
Don't just drift into Christmas, and don't allow it become a time of year which most people wish was over and done with. Take some definite time out, not a great deal, to reflect on what Christmas is all about, and what, if anything, it means to you.
Prepare a pathway for the Lord's coming. Make a straight road for him. Can you honestly recognize things in your life, in your behavior, in your relationships that can be obstacles to this time of love, of reconciliation, of freedom from bondage? What do you find within yourself that spoils or limits the gift that you are, now that we are approaching that time of year when giftgiving becomes part of our living?
Jesus is the reason for the Season. Strip back all the tinsel and wrapping, and discover the real gift of Christmas. Your own personal, and mostly private, input into this Christmas, is what will make all the difference in the world. No matter what gifts or cards you receive from others, the greatest gift of all is one you can choose to give yourself…
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