Can you feel it? No, not the cool air or the dripping drops of recently fallen rain. Nor is it the un-dead zombie bowls rooting around on ESPN. It’s the feeling of Christmas almost being here. People are rushing around to get their final gifts and make their final feasting preparations. The anticipation in the air is palpable.
Our feasting begins this Sunday night at 5 pm with our Christmas Eve service. The Little Saints will present the Christmas story as told in Luke and Matthew’s gospels, we’ll sing lots of carols, celebrate Holy Communion, and light candles. It will be a joyous time and one of my favorite moments of each year.
The 12 days of Christmas will ensue (lasting to January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany), and our next Sunday service on December 31st will be an hour earlier at 4 pm.
But Christmas isn’t here yet. And as you wait these final days I encourage you to think about the Blessed Virgin Mary. Think of her encounter with the angel Gabriel as he proclaimed the Lord’s favor for her, the mysterious plan about to commence in her, and that with God nothing is impossible (see Luke 1:26-38).
Then think on those final days of her pregnancy before the birth of our Lord Jesus. Think of how she and Joseph traveled a great distance from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, and how she must have measured and clung to every promise of God Gabriel had uttered.
And as you do so, watch God work in your own heart to prepare room for Christ. And wait with eager anticipation, for the King and Savior - and the feast of his nativity - is now drawing near.