Christmastime is a wonderful time of the year, and in particular, Advent, the run-up towards Christmas. A St. Eulalia’s tradition, Peter Pongratz’s “Welcome the Child” has a particularly warm place in my heart, even though I have not been present at the last couple of showings due to my move to California.
So much of the preparation time for the arrival of the baby Jesus makes us feel “all warm inside.” Even some of the holiday parties, gift-giving, food preparation, arrangement all say You Are Welcome to others in our lives. It is for this reason, we often say to others when they are less than hospitable during this time, “Why Don’t You Get Into The Christmas Spirit?”. This put-down is not just a reaction to someone operating like the Grinch or Scrooge in their attitude but is a general call to “holiness” for the season.
We all have the potential to be accepting or rejecting at this time, so it seems it takes a special effort to be “mean” during Christmastime. Even the classic movies of the time, newer and past, all point us towards the goodwill which is embedded in us all. It’s a time not just for preparation for those visitors and pleasantness to those we like in our lives, but a time to consider those we reject or feel less friendly towards.
It is impossible to give someone a tongue lashing when you are feeling warmth and love in your heart. Christmas, particularly Advent, draws us clearly into the loving embrace which God holds us in during this period. We cannot, and should not, engage in behavior which is contrary to that “goodwill” and Christmas Cheer so talked about in the world. We are reminded of our Christianity in a huge way, and the birth of Jesus is the ultimate reminder of God’s love for us.
Let us “let go” of those feelings, resentments, hostilities to those who need our forgiveness this season. For forgiveness may do little to change the past, but it certainly changes our future.
Have a very blessed Advent, and load up with the “Christmas Spirit” which only comes from Christ himself.
THE CHRISTMAS HOUSE
The Christmas House,
Readily awaiting the removal of problems accumulated,
Now appears to be under repair,
I cannot tell if they are rebuilding,
Me to a new glory.
One where I may be closer to Him after winter is done.