“People, look east! The time is near of the crowning of the year. Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table. People, look east and sing today: Love the guest is on the way.”
Short days. Freezing rain, snow squalls and bitter winds. Visitors walking the icthys path are bundled up against the cold and prayers are a bit shorter than usual! Even the hardiest Canadian, even those looking forward to winter sports or cozy, snow bound afternoons with a good book or, indeed, anticipating a winter holiday to warmer climes, all sigh as the winter solstice nears. Christmas lights and decorations, festive gatherings, carols, both ancient and contemporary, and, in church land, the Advent messages of Hope, Love, Joy and Peace can all help ‘make spirits bright’.
Advent is a season of preparation that anticipates both Bethlehem and the consummation of history in the second coming of Jesus Christ…even though we are a bit fuzzy about what that’s all about. For those who have lost beloved family members or friends, the sadness can intensify with the Christmas frenzy. For those who are alone, the long nights may well be lonely. It is the time to hear the call to prepare our hearts…prepare to receive the Lord, to make a room for Him in the Inn of our lives. It is the time to open ourselves to God’s Presence and the power of God’s Love and to reach out and share that love with others.
“Angels, announce with shouts of mirth, Christ who brings new life to earth. Set every peak and valley humming with the word, the Lord is coming. People, look east and sing today: Love the, the Lord, is on the way.”
91 Common Praise by Eleanor Farjeon