I’m not a big fan of Christmas. Well, maybe that’s not entirely accurate. Let me say that I’m not a big fan of all the commercialism and craziness that sometimes feels like it completely overtakes the celebration of Christ’s birth. Living in New York City and working right near Rockefeller Center, as I do, where the city’s immense Christmas tree stands during the holidays, means that Christmas to me sometimes means hordes of shoving, pushing, angry crowds. Not exactly something to induce merriment.
That’s one of the many reasons that I pull back a little bit at Christmas: doing less, going out less, spending more time in prayer. It’s one way for me to focus on the spiritual meaning of the season. One thing that helps with that is, and I bet you’ve guessed this, the amazing series of daily readings that start during the Advent season. Especially from the Book of Isaiah, which we use for the First Reading. Just listen to this: “Thus says the Lord GOD: But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest!” Isn’t that beautiful? You could spend a whole week in prayer just meditating on that image of God’s incredible work to move and change and grow things in your life. And on God’s desires to help all humanity to grow and flourish. So my suggestion as we move into Advent might be this: Do less, pray more and enjoy the season. Happy Advent!