Grace and peace to you all!
People, look east. The time in near for 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.
I’ll admit it – I’m very “humbug-y” about Christmas music and decorations when they show up in mid-November. Even on Thanksgiving weekend. “It’s not Christmas yet!” I grumble as I make my way through the store.
But by now, mid-way through December, I’m getting ready and getting excited. More and more houses in my neighborhood – even mine – have lights in the windows and on the trees. We’ll be cutting a tree this weekend. My house is full of the smell of Christmas cookies and the sound of Handel’s Messiah. Soon, three candles will flicker on the Advent wreath in the dining room. I’m “trimming the hearth and setting the table” as the old French carol directs.
And why? Become Love is coming to live among us. Because, as Eugene Peterson puts it, God decided to “move into the neighborhood.” Of course I get the house ready for such a guest! And I get my heart ready, too. I lay a festive table in my heart to welcome the Lord of Love into my life.
So enough “humbug!” It’s time to join in joyful anticipation of all that God is ready to do in my life, in our church, in the world. Come, Emmanuel!