Advent, a time of waiting, truly lends itself to deep spiritual contemplation and growth. It can be a time to slow down, to really consider the meaning of Christ's birth. It's so easy for us to rush ahead to his ministry, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension - all extremely important in our faith and in our knowledge of Jesus and his great love and willing sacrifice. However, there is a rich ground of spiritual connection in taking time to review his humble entrance into the world. Let us pause now to steep ourselves in waiting, in anticipating the birth of the Christ Child. Let us prepare ourselves to behold him as the precious Babe in the manger. Remembering that God was willing to bring his Son to the world as an innocent baby touches our hearts and engenders in us a rich warmth and caring for him - a caring that can persist and deepen as the new liturgical year now moves forward to further reveal his Divinity and mission of everlasting love.
Just think: there is a new year ahead of more learning, more grace, more joy...and it all begins with the HOPE we celebrate today, a HOPE that can bless us as we allow it to settle into our hearts. It is a hope that holds more promise than we can possibly imagine.
(which means “God with us”).
-Matthew 1:23 (NIV)